Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 18, 2017

by | Jun 18, 2017 | Rumors | 52 comments

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen could be a trade candidate following the upcoming NHL expansion draft.

Updates on the Anaheim Ducks, New York Islanders, Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins & more in your Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup. 

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens reports Sami Vatanen remains with the Anaheim Ducks for the time being. The Ducks are expected to leave Vatanen and Josh Manson unprotected in the expansion draft but neither is headed to the Vegas Golden Knights.

“Multiple reports have Ducks general manager Bob Murray jumping ahead and working out a deal with Vegas GM George McPhee. And that isn’t expected to include Vatanen, who underwent shoulder surgery and may not be ready to play until December at the earliest.”

It’s expected the Golden Knights will pass on Vatanen in the expansion draft. The Ducks could use later the blueliner this summer as trade bait for an impact forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Vatanen is bypassed by the Golden Knights I expect he could be dealt by the end of the NHL Draft next Saturday. A number of teams, including the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs, could come calling. 

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports the New York Islanders could have a deal in place with the Vegas Golden Knights to ensure they don’t select certain unprotected players in the upcoming expansion draft. It could take the form of a high draft pick, a lower-level prospect or both. GM Garth Snow was also reportedly involved in numerous trade discussions in search of a high-end forward with defenseman Travis Hamonic or Calvin de Haan as likely trade bait, but few teams were willing to make moves leading up to the expansion draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Jordan Eberle-for-Travis Hamonic trade speculation will likely continue leading into the NHL Draft on Friday. 

ARIZONA SPORTS/AZCENTRAL.COM: Craig Morgan reports the Arizona Coyotes are likely to expose goaltender Louis Domingue in the upcoming expansion draft. Having dealt away Mike Smith to Calgary on Saturday, the Coyotes are in need of a starting goaltender.

GM John Chayka said he’s in the market for a starter and will wait to see if the expansion unprotected lists might reveal a potential deal. He also sees opportunities via unrestricted free agency. He’s also in the market for depth at center and is reportedly interested in Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers. He could also use his available cap space to take on players on long-term injured reserve (such as Columbus’ David Clarkson and Toronto’s Nathan Horton) if it also nets them other assets.

Sarah McLellan reports Chayka intends to use the cap space free up by trading Smith to set up other moves to improve the Coyotes. Re-signing Chad Johnson, acquired from Calgary in the Smith trade, is one option. Trade options could include Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury, the New York Rangers’ Antti Raanta and Washington’s Philipp Grubauer but they could be snapped up by the Golden Knights. Free agent options could include Brian Elliott, Steve Mason and Jonathan Bernier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnson is best suited for backup work and Domingue isn’t ready to take over as the Coyotes starter. I expect they’ll try to land a decent starter via trade or free agency over the next couple of weeks, though it’s doubtful they’ll find a significant improvement over the departed Smith. 

TRIBLIVE.COM:  Jonathan Bombulie reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford intends to add a player or two who can protect captain Sidney Crosby from the abuse he’s suffered from opponents. “That’s not that easy because (coach Mike Sullivan) likes to roll four lines and you’ve got to plug a guy in that can play on a regular basis, but hopefully that’s what we can do,” said Rutherford. 





  1. Vegas did well by letting teams know they were the better option than trading with other teams. They will maximize their assets this way. Only thing remaining to be seen is what it cost teams to work with Vegas. Must have been reasonable in the minds of teams like ana and minny to not get assets from teams for their d men and instead give up assets. pretty nifty!

  2. Jonathan Marchessault available for Vegas sounds like a no brainer for them-Florida would protecting who?

  3. Pittsburgh wants a fighter who can score, skate, pass, play on the same line line as Crosby and is cap friendly. What about Kerby Rychel? He’s not waiver exempt so if the leafs can’t find a place in their lineup for him next season, they’ll lose him for nothing.

    Why the heck the Leafs wouldn’t put rychel in place of Martin is beyond me but Babcock seems to like Martin so trading Rychel becomes necessary.

    • what rutherford wants is almost impossible to find. A tough customer who can play. Your Simmonds, Jenners, etc. And they are pricey. They also are the type of players who get expensive deals but often burn out quick or get injured leaving teams in trouble… looking at you clbus

      • They want to protect the league’s stars without being required to hire the one-dimensional goons of old??? – Step One: get rid of the instigator rule.

      • If it ain’t broke….just play Phil up on the wing, he was willing to take care of John Scott a couple years back.

      • It’s so much easier than that… call the game by the rules. plain. and. simple. goonery be gone after teams start losing games cause other team has an extra 5-10 minutes of powerplay time. short spike in powerplays as players feel out what refs will let go… then the nastiness dwindles and so does the penalties. we already saw it work the season after the first lockout.

      • It’s a solid move by Rutherford to highlight the problems the league is having from the winners seat. If it comes from the losers seat it sounds like sour grapes. It fits with the Penguins history of trying to pressure the league to de-goonerize itself (not that I would ever say they pens are innocent).

      • I think Jimmy is sabre rattling.

        Maybe they’d bring back Deryk Engelland to be a healthy scratch/goon when you need him…unless someone else is going to pay him 3 times his worth again, of course.

      • will be very difficult for the Pens to grab a player that fits what Rutherford wants and Sullivan prefers. Pens need to find a back up goalie (if Jarry isn’t ready), resign Daley and Schultz (if Pouliot isn’t ready), resign Kunitz for 1 year if he will take a very team friendly deal to play on the 3rd line. Find someone to win face offs like Cullen. oh yeah not sure what to do with bonino. resign as who else could centre the third line.

    • Chris Thorburn could be the guy he’s a ufa, not offensive but good energy, good skater and tough. I don’t think it’s imperative that whom ever it is plays on Sids line. Personally I would swing a deal with St.L in bring in Ryan Reeves. Also wouldn’t give a rats a** about the instigator rule. I take the penalty to send the message.

  4. McPhee to the NHL: “Nice Jonas Brodin you got there…be a shame if something happened to it.”

    Woe to any team that hasn’t already cut a side deal with Vegas (unless they have no good players worth taking, which is also woe to them).

    If Team X sees a player from Team Y exposed, they can call Vegas and make an offer and Team Y is reduced to bidding for their own player like anyone else.

    Some of the choices are already curious…

    I like Pageau. Nice little player. But, the Sens are going to risk losing a top pair D man for him? When their top 4 is the key to the team? That is insane.

    If Vegas is making draft pick acquisition their top priority (as reported) they are making a mistake. First off, this is a weak draft. But, the Raiders are coming to town. The time to make fans is now. If not, in two years that family or small business who can only afford season tickets for one of the two teams will have any easy choice.

    I’d take every James Neal, Jonas Brodin, etc. I could get my hands on and build the best team possible. Find out who your core players are and, if out of contention, you can still flip the rest for picks as rentals.

    • Brodin is protected.

    • Vegas is a HUGE city and Raiders will not make a dent in the Knights fan base. Getting a ton of high picks and other young assets is a super solid strategy. They do not need to be playoff contenders right away and should have a three-five year plan for that. They can’t take 30 players from the teams as most players meeting the requirements for drafting are not waiver exempt and vegas would risk losing them for nothing before the season started. they need young waiver exempt players and picks. 5 1st round picks in even a weak year gives them a chance at 2-3 of them panning out to be really good players if not stars. They also are good currency for other trades.

      • Vegas has a metro population of 1,951,269 so I don’t know that I’d call it huge. That places them 20th in le league ahead of Columbus, Raleigh, Nashville, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Buffalo and Winnipeg in that order.

      • The Golden Knights could become the Coyotes 2.0 really easily and really quickly.

        Why cut a deal with the Preds to protect Neal when you can draft him, use him and then trade him for as much or more at the dealine instead of boring your fans with a Craig Smith, for example?

        Take the best team, make a run and liquidate it at the deadline if it doesn’t work and you still get the young players you want.

      • its not ny or la but its a big town. couple that with how many of the tickets can be sold to visitors on top of the home base crowd. My bro is already chomping at the bit to buy tickets for a pens game in vegas and many other fans of other teams will use seeing games in vegas as an excuse to go to vegas. 20th in the league puts 11 smaller nhl cities behind them and thats not counting the ungodly amount of tourism

      • Only issue I see is the amount of the population that has jobs connected to tourism which likely therefore means they work nights….the tourists will for a while be enough but we have seen in the past with places like Florida that only lasts so long.

      • Ahh, I was just reacting to your use of the adjective “huge” chrisms. We need to sub-divide the NHL cities into more appropriate categories – i.e., humongous – 1 to 3 on the list; Massive – 4 to 8; Huge – 9 to 12; Large 13 to 16; Substantial – 17 to 19; Sizeable – 20 to 26; Fair-Sized – 27.

      • I know a lot of ppl that go to Vegas yearly and a lot of them have already said they will be booking their trip when their team is playing, that’s just one area a lot of the colder area teams will be doing this

      • what about gargantuan George? Maybe Astronomical? 😉

      • so… slots in the concourse… thoughts? During intermission, get a beer, a hot dog, and drop 20 bucks in a slot machine. maybe have a sports book right in the arena 🙂

      • Las Vegas might have a small population relative to other cities but they also get over 40 million tourists each year! I’m sure that will help. This year is labeled as a weaker draft then previous years but there will still be some very good players available and when you have an abundance of picks it improves your chances dramatically. Also, I’m sure Vegas will get picks from 2018, 2019, 2020 etc. Stagger the picks and slowly develop them. If a good player is available they can take them and always flip them later.

      • LOL. What’s in a name indeed! I like Gargantuan – but either that or humongous conjures up a NYC or Shanghai or Delhi. More people than most countries.

    • Dorion wouldn’t have taken that route if he didn’t have depth at thew D position – and he does. And I’m not so sure McPhee takes Methot anyway – I’ve read/heard several sources say the gut he should take is Claeson – and he’s the one I’d hate to lose. But Chabot is going to make the team this fall, and quite possibly Englund, and Wideman is quite capable of moving up a notch, so it’s not like Boucher doesn’t have options IF Methot is taken.

      And when everything is said and done, I think it’s the height of hypocrisy for teams to be moaning about “losing” someone they don’t want to lose after hauling in millions from the half-billion expansion fee forked over by Vegas.

  5. pens list is almost exactly what I expected/wanted to see. Except I would have protected rust over horny though it certainly is a tough choice. course it wont matter IF either vegas is deadset on MAF or the pens made/make a deal with them to get them to take MAF. But if I’m vegas I would hold out on pens unless they know another team really wants MAF and they think he is willing to put them on that NTC list. then the pens have options… so convoluted!

    • The MAF deal is long done so they showed some respect to the veteran Hornqvist instead of Rust.

      If that was a real list, it would have been the same list with Rust instead of Horny.

      • as a pens fan I hope you are right. It would be stupid asset management by vegas not to try to get something else with MAF… on top of it being Mcphee… who must absolutely hate the pens. Many of the pittsburgh talking sports heads are putting out there that there is a deal with vegas and it involves another asset going to vegas… but none are revealing where they got that info so I’m taking it with a grain of salt

  6. Good bye Colin Miller, personally not happy with that decision. Puck moving dman, younger and good contract.

    • Baring a side deal I agree.

    • The B’s have plenty of right shot Dmen , they need a top 4 left shot Dman. Colin Miller right now is the # 6/7 Dman on the B’s .

  7. Islanders protected list is a bit perplexing. Nelson unprotected? Wings protecting Howard over Mrazek? I get that Mrazek had a tough year last year but that could be just a bump in the road in his development. Howard is not the answer in Det. Surprised no one swung a deal for marchesault?

    • I agree Nelson is odd choice after losing the other Nielson ufa

      • Islanders better have a deal in place with Vegas or that list is odd

  8. At 1st blush here is what I have for Vegas’s selections. No where near final as far more research required & there are several teams extremely hard to decide which player will appeal to Vegas most. Also a few surprises not the least of which is NYI protecting 5 Dman & 1 of them isn’t de Haan!

    Vegas has to come out of the expansion draft with 9D, 14F, 3G & 4 wild cards. Not accounting for any further side deals as yet except for the 3 teams we assume Vegas has side deals with now, Anh, Clb & Pit but assuming MAF is selected; just weather anything else is included. I have also not included Min but to get me to pass on Dumba would cost a fortune, more than Calgary paid to get Hamilton! Who wouldn’t want this asset as part of their future. He & de Haan would be a solid #1 future pairing.

    G’s. MAF, Grubauer, Ullmark; waiver exempt, Picard; traded to another team almost immediately.
    D’s. C. Miller, TvR, Reinhart, Emelin, Lovejoy, de Haan, Methot, Dhillon & Sbisa.
    F’s. McGinn, Brouwer, Eakin, Nosek, Marchesseault, Clifford, 1 of Nas’s 5 F’s; Aberg, Neil, Wilson, Smith, Scissions, Lindberg, Raffl, Perron, Rychel & Dano.

    I haven’t accounted for any players from Anh, Clb or Min as yet, nor a sweetener from Pit if 1 is to be paid. If I had to select from these teams now it would be Manson, Dumba & Anderson or Korpisalo; waiver exempt, the cost would be extreme to pass on any of them, nor am I doing so for solely a 1st & in the case of Dumba see above. Korpisalo would be the cheapest but being waiver exempt that’s appealing to Vegas as they could have Ullmark & Korpisalo in the AHL with out having to clear waivers.

    This is going to be a very good team before any side deals. Good being relative as few superstars but some solid building blocks. I leaned to younger players where possible.

    • The interesting dynamic is acquiring waiver exempt players & with the exception of in net this is virtually impossible at in the expansion draft but will open up in trade. Not an issue at forward as they only have to select 14, will carry at least 13 & any side deals I assume will be for waiver exempt forwards to some extent unless upgrading to a star forward.

      Having to select at least 9 Dman means they will have to flip at least 1 as most teams carry 8. This won’t be an issue. Moving a Dman with a pulse can be achieved easily. Finding buyers for Emelin, Lovejoy, even a Sbisa wouldn’t be that difficult. Tons of teams need any Dman that can even play in the NHL.

      • Interestingly enough my 1st run thru didn’t include many C’s, only 2 Eakin & Lindberg, although Vegas did sign Shipachyov, so selecting Sheahan over Nosek & Lehtera over Perron might make more sense, again the tough decisions to try & make.

        I assume this will be addressed in trade.

      • There is still FA for vegas and they could likely offer a bit more mullah to entice some players there. radulov… kovy in a trade maybe? Move one of those 9 d to jersey with a pick for kovy… offer bonino number 2 center monies… offer alzner and shat overpayments… see if they bite.

      • I think Vegas will do what ever best suits them & agree with you Chrisms. I haven’t run the salary cap on my list yet, the next step but tons of money to spend.

        If Vegas is anything like my assumptions I like the look of this team & tons of trades to jettison all those extra NHL quality Dman yet to be made.

    • With some of the d your waiting for LV good have a very decent d core, depending on any side deals. Dumba, C.Miller, DeHaan, Methot, Emilin, Manson. The MAF in nets. Not a bad way to start the back end.

    • Here’s what I have so far. Not counting any Anh, Clb, or Nas players. Can’t decide which of the 5 Nas F’s Vegas might select & assume a side deal is coming here. I assume when the dust settles it may be Aberg+/

      Marchesseault, Shipachyov, Brouwer.
      ?, Lindberg, Perron.
      Raffl, Eakin, McGinn.
      Clifford, Kruger; assuming the rumor is true, Dano.
      Spare Rychel.

      de Haan, Dumba.
      Methot, Dotchin.
      Emelin, C. Miller.
      Dhillon, TvR.
      Reinhart, Sbisa.

      MAF, Grubauer, Ullmark, Altshuller; waiver expempt, missed him in list above, Pickard.

      Vegas is going to be able to parlay those D into a solid returns.

      • Missed LW Nosek who I like moving forward but Sheahan may be the selection from Det.

        It’s all very interesting & I’m glad I have something to consume as opposed to pure speculation.

        If Montreal loses Emelin who the hell is playing D for them next season? Weber, Petry & Benn, +? I have never liked Benn. He was the pylon on Zibanejad’s OT game winner in game 5 is a borderline NHL Dman for me nor am I a big Petry fan.

      • Selecting 1 of Kronwall or Eriksson possibly even Mrazek having a deal in place to flip 1 of them might be a better option for Vegas.

        Also Nelson being a big bodied #2 C might be to hard to pass up, although if as is being reported NYI is willing to pay a 1st to Vegas to pass on a forward, de Haan & a 1st even works better than just de Haan.

        How does Snow still have a job?

      • Striker you are still in pure speculation mode since you don’t know who have deals in place and you don’t know what those deals are. But enjoy!

    • I missed goalie Altshuller from Carolina. He is waiver exempt, giving Vegas at least 2 goalies for the AHL with Ullmark.

      • I was happy to see Carolina protect Carrick on D. He was an AHL all star two years ago and should be competing with Fleury for NHL ice time next season. Carolina wasn’t satisfied with goaltending at any level last year. I think they will draft a goalie in the second round. Altshuller is young and still has a chance to to develop into an NHL Goalie.

      • I think Vegas will be looking at flipping Ward or Stempniak from Carolina. Ward to Pittsburgh or Winnipeg. If that deal is not there then they pick Altshuller.

    • My cap hit to Vegas not counting Ullmark & Ultshuller being sent down to the AHL, Picard traded, RFA’s Reinhart, de Haan, Lindberg, Dotchin, Grubauer still needing be signed & any players from Anh, Clb or Nashville not yet factored in is $51,525,500. Based on the roster I have chosen above.

  9. Nice job by capfriendly to get the expansion draft tool current so quick. Maybe the NHL should hire them.