NHL Rumor Mill – July 18, 2017

by | Jul 18, 2017 | Rumors | 78 comments

Shane Doan (left) and Jarome Iginla hope to continue their playing careers next season.

Updates on Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan, Cody Franson and more in your NHL Rumor Mill.

NHL.COM: Speaking to a local newspaper during a Kamloops Blazers alumni golf tournament, veteran forwards Jarome Iginla and Shane Doan expressed their mutual wish to return for another NHL season. The pair are unrestricted free agents and while they said they’ve been in contact with “four or five teams”, they’re having difficulty finding clubs to sign with.

Iginla said he hopes to land with a contending team. Because of league parity, he feels as many as 15 teams have a shot at championship contention.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla and Doan are future Hall of Famers, but both are now 40 years old and well past their “best before” dates. Their numbers noticeably dropped out last season, though Doan is only a year removed from a 28-goal performance and Iginla showed late-season improvement following his trade on March 1 to the Los Angeles Kings. Both could eventually end up with contenders, but they might face a training-camp tryout. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford recently dismissed the Kessel trade speculation that emerged out of Pittsburgh last week. 

TSN: cited a tweet by Jay Zawaski of 670 The Score in Chicago speculating unrestricted free agent defenseman Cody Franson could get a training camp tryout from the Chicago Blackhawks if he hasn’t signed with another club by then. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the way this offeseason is going for Franson, a training camp invite could be his best bet for landing an NHL contract. The Hawks are currently pressed for cap space, though they’ll likely get over $5 million in cap relief if winger Marian Hossa is placed on long-term injury reserve. 

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion suggests he might not be done trying to improve his roster this summer. “As recently as this morning, I was talking to another GM about a possible trade and there’s always that avenue,” he said. Dorion also didn’t rule out inviting unsigned UFAs to training camp on a tryout basis, but he also feels he’s good good depth, especially with the promising young prospects in his system. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having lost defenseman Marc Methot in the expansion draft, perhaps Dorion will look at adding another veteran blueliner. Before going that route, however, he could wait for training camp to evaluate young defenders such as Fredrik Clausson, Ben Harpur and Thomas Chabot. 



  1. Re post from last night , off the wall but not much of substance to debate anyways at the moment

    Who has the edge down the middle ?

    Mcdavid Draisaitl Nuge Letestu
    Matthews bozak kadri Moore

    Excluding linemates / contracts

    • Trick question. Draisaitl played the majority of the year on the wing.

      Edmonton’s Centers McDavid, RNH, Caggiula/Strome Letestu

      • Why would you put Leon back on the wing after his playoff run and team leading face off % ? He won’t Be on the wing and I think that’s crystal clear .

      • And why strome over Leo ? Strome played wing last year too ?

      • Strome will play RW.

        Draisaitl should play more C this year but will still find himself on the wing when necessary.

        Edm has the edge with Draisaitl at #2 over Bozak. Letestu gets quality PP time even though he plays deep down the roster.

      • Oilers have better centers overall. I’d say the Leafs are easily better on the wings

      • Agreed taz

      • As a die hard Leafs fan I would say Oilers for sure. Bozak or Kadri don’t even come close to the talent of Draisaitl. He could easily be #1 Center on a lot of NHL teams. As far as prospects go though I think Toronto takes it.

      • Not to mention Matthews is absolutely incredible but he is no McDavid

    • I get asking, but 2 days in a row? Talking about where Doan and Iginla isn’t exactly earth shattering….. but neither is a recycled question posed just yesterday. Next……

      • Everything is recycled this time of year. It’s the dog days my friend

      • Everything is recycled right now lol , and I posted late so wanted a few more opinions . I’ve only heard about a false rumour and kessel for a week straight

      • Chiarelli has said that he sees Strome as a centre. I think that indicates that he expects Strome to see time in the middle. I think Draisaitl’s performance in the playoffs suggests he will get much more time at centre. However, as mentioned, they can throw him onto mcdavid’s wing when necessary. I think the Oilers are much stronger at centre. The leafs have much better wingers. If Puljujaarvi pans out, he could make it a bit closer on the wing, but so far leafs definitely have the edge with Marner, Nylander etc.

      • Ice mammoth

        Chilly sees strome playing center until the draisaitl extension is signed , once it is chilly can commit to Leon at center . I’m sure that’s a big part of negotiations , center or wing. Strome may see some time at center if Nuge is tried on the wing but Leo will be the 2 C full time in my opinion .

      • Strome may play C when necessary, injuries, RNH gets traded & potentially down the road but I see him playing RW unless 1 of those 2 things happen.

      • I agree striker , at times , like Malkin Crosby they will be used together or due to injury / trade , but I see strome on the wing and Leon at center for the lionshare of the season

    • I don’t see how Edmonton has the edge striker . Toronto has the depth and more options down the middle . Marleau can play C when needed . Gauthier can battle for 4 c when healthy , or come in if Moore is hurt . Bozak is also very good at the draw , 7th in league last season . Centre is much more then putting up points, winning draws and playing the role at both ends is crucial . It’s not even a debate imo .

      • You should probably remove the dark blue glasses . Marleau can play center , so can strome / jokinen . For both teams that’s not ideally where they play . Mcdavid over Mathews . Leon / strome combo an upgrade over bozak . Nuge and kadri pretty close I’ll even give kadri the nod there and letestu slight nod over Moore . With both teams having guys who can step in if injuries come up . Gauthier and the depth can’t be that great or why did they go out and sign Moore again ? I think it’s pretty close . Bozak leaving would give clear advantage to oilers .

      • When looking at the starting centres Edmonton is definitely ahead, it’s really not close

      • With a name like Tim Horton that shocks me.

        Depends on your perspective. Hockey is a team game, winning is the #1 criteria unless your a fantasy hockey fan like me, then it’s almost exclusively about points.

        If we want to discuss who might also play C Edm has Strome, Caggiula & Jokinen that C play C if the need arises.

        Bozak & Moore are both UFA’s next summer, will either be back? If not who plays C then? Nylander?

        Gauthier is gone till Dec & looks to be a 4th line C, maybe he tops out as a #3, 3 to 4 years from now.

        It’s not Edm buy a significant margin but it’s Edm for me. It’s a great time to be a fan of either of these teams. The future looks awesome for both, at least until the cap crunch hits in 3 years for both.

      • The team game you mention striker is exactly why I give the edge to the maple leafs.

        Kadri is not the best man at the dot , but he plays a significant role to the team , and the fact that he was even brought up in the conversation as selke finalist ( I know he doesn’t deserve selke ) but did get some votes , came 20th among NHL forwards I believe ? Brings some edge to torontos centre position at a good cap hit long term .

        Matthews is not mcdavid but he is strong on the puck and a 40 goal scorer. He’s also a rookie, and playing centre as a rookie is tough.

        Bozak is not elite like Matthews / mcdavid . But Leon isn’t even a centreman yet . He played down the stretch but let’s see what he’s capable of first. Bozak is 57 percent at the dot , top numbers.

        Teams win by controlling the puck . Losing faceoffs in your own end cause losses . I trust Matthews to improve at the dot , kadri to stay a pest , bozak hopefully signs a couple more years , and leave the 4 slot up to Moore / Gauthier …. with Marleau playing whatever role babs sees fit .
        Until Leon plays a full year at C , I don’t see oil with edge .

      • Someone’s drinking the blue kool aid . Hahaha!

      • As long as it’s spiked it’s ok Craig! Lol

      • Conner! Conner! Conner! will always be why EDM is Better the TML. You want to say the leafs are better on the wings, the oilers got them on D. Conner and Leon is up there with Sid and Geno when it comes to center. and the 4th line center don’t play enough on even night to make a big diff. a really good 4th line center is not that much above the average 4th line center.

      • Draisaitl did take almost a thousand faceoffs, 972 to be exact winning 49%.

        Duchene lead the league in face off winning % for players with at least a reasonable # of draws taken, It didn’t do much for their puck possession game or Duchene’s production.

        I respect your opinion we just disagee & the difference isn’t significant really but I lean to Edm but if I’m a Tor fan I’m pretty happy. I’m neither but a Bruins fan.

      • Tim Horton you mentioned playing both ends of the ice is crucial .. I THINK you can agree the oilers were a much better team in there own end last season and it wasn’t close .. how does that help your case ? Or is the oilers D that much better than the leafs ??

    • Well they say you need two top c’s to compete for the cup; although Nashville competed with no #1 C in the finals. Maybe you just need a solid back end and a top notch goalie. Anyways you were talking Centers and just using Tor and Edm, so I going to change it a bit and say the team with the top 2 centers is Pittsburgh. I think Edmonton may end up taking that spot but not today. With all do respect to Bozak (who is on an expiring contract) he isn’t in that class.

      • People like to build archetypes and say that structure wins, but I think it’s easier to say you need mostly good players, and a few exceptional players to win the cup.

        If you take any solid team (nobody terrible, but nobody amazing in any slot), then pepper in a few elite players in important roles, that team is extremely competitive. Doesn’t matter if it’s a good team with an elite goalie, and an Elite winger and Elite #1D, or a team with Two elite centres and #1D, or Goalie and 2D, if everyone else is solid in their roles, a few exceptional players at any position can push teams over the top.

        I think it’s harder to push the game a lot from the wing, but the few that can do it have proven their worth. Patrick Kane plays the wing so well he drives play better than most Centres. So I think rather than narrowing the search for exceptional players at a certain position, just looking for exceptional players whenever they are available seems to be the real template.

      • @Tim Horton “Bozak is not elite like Matthews / mcdavid . But Leon isn’t even a centreman yet . He played down the stretch but let’s see what he’s capable of first. Bozak is 57 percent at the dot , top numbers.”

        Leon Draisaitl was 8th in scoring during the season and had the highest points per game of any player in the playoffs, yes I would take him ahead of bozak. It’s not even a conversation.

    • McDavid

      This is how I would like to see the Oilers forward lines


      • Here’s what I see based on what we know today. Juggle the wingers anyway you want.

        Maroon, McDavid, Strome.
        Lucic, Draisaitl, Puljujarvi.
        Jokinen, RNH, Kassian.
        Caggiula, Letestu, Slepyshev.

        This is a very good team.

    • Ummm McDavid.

      Oilers Win.

  2. Will Doan make the hall of fame?

    • Doan is not a HOF’er.

      972 points in 1540 games. Never had a point a game season. And while some might cite leadership and intangibles, etc. his teams never won and barely made the playoffs.

      • Agreed. If “intangibles” was any measure Claude Provost of the Habs would have been in the HofF a LONG time ago – he was on NINE cup winners.

      • Agree wholeheartedly- not HOF material. Similar mould to Ryan Smyth- pure heart and a good long track record, but not hallworthy.

    • nope

      • HOF Dad, maybe. He stayed on ARI for family reasons, which is why he usually played on bad teams. Have to respect that.

    • Do not see him as HOF.
      Then again I’d take Roenick over Andreychuk as who was the better overall player any day of the week.

  3. Since we are recycling…. What is the knock on Franson ?
    A bigger ,5/6 pairing, second PP defenceman

    • Cody Franson needs a new agent. He should have been signed long ago.

    • I’m in the same boat, I cant fathom he’s down to hoping for tryouts. He’s not amazing but he’s better than other team’s 4-5 D men.

  4. No Kessel to Phoenix banter?

  5. FWIW, a certain radio blowhard here in Pittsburgh who does have sources inside the team and who trashed the idea of getting Tyler Bozak last week did a full 180 and started selling the idea of Bozak to the Pens yesterday.

    He wouldn’t be my first choice, but could work. Getting Kessel back to a third line to spread the scoring has obvious benefits, but not killing penalties is really limiting.

  6. Very slow day today. Off topic, I just looked at Capfriendly.com and wow is New Jersey’s current roster horrible. Given their lack of forward depth, what was the point in buying out Cammalleri and Smith-Pelly this summer? All it did was negatively impact future cap space when the team should be better (they can’t get much worse). They could have waited until next summer to buy out Cammalleri and cut ties with Smith-Pelly if it didn’t work out.

    Schneider will have to stand on his head this year to not repeat Colorado’s historically bad performance in 16/17, let alone make the playoffs. Given that, do they really want to expose Hischier to that mess in 17/18? They would be better off returning him to junior one more season and sliding the contract.

    • It’s not as bad as Florida’s current forward group. Although NJ’s D isn’t promissing.

      Here’s what I have for NJ depth chart currently.

      Hall, Henrique, Palmieri.
      Johansson, Zajac, Zacha.
      Wood, Hischier, Lappin.
      Coleman, Boyle, Noesen.

      All kinds of possible options. Zacha could play C, Henrique could potentially move to LW, Johansson would have to slide to right wing if that happened.

      Early stages of a rebuild in NJ. Going to take Shero several years to clean up the mess Lou left. He has made some solid acquisitions capitlising on other teams needs, be them cap issues, Johansson, & expansion issues, Mueller.

      It’s not great but way better than when the season started last year. Need to fix the D but that will take time. Seaverson, Santini & Mueller is a start & Kapla could surprise.

      • And if I live to be 100 no one will ever convince me that NJ (and a ghost of other teams needing upgrade on D including the Leafs) could not have made a better offer to LV for Methot than a junior goalie and a 2nd round pick two years down the line. Either some weird skulduggery was in play or McPhee is an all-time idiot.

      • I agree George.

        Very odd that these teams that are in serious need of D haven’t stepped up.

      • I’m very surprised that Vegas didn’t have more deals lined up for the defencemen they picked, in particular LD. You would think McPhee would have had a “If I take Sbisa, you give me a 2nd round pick in 2057” deal done in advance.

        I’m still baffled by the Methot trade. If that is all that was offered, why not trade Sbisa, McNabb or Garrison for less (3rd or 4th round pick) and keep Methot until the trade deadline? They could have gotten a couple 2nd round picks or two picks and a prospect at that point given recent trade history for legit top 4 defencemen.

      • Striker: You’re right about Florida too and they haven’t even bottomed out yet. They are supposedly trying to dump Demers’ contract and will be even worse when that happens. If money is so tight, why did they sign Reimer to such a lucrative contract to be a 1B at best? Luongo is still a solid starting goalie and they could have signed a cheaper backup if they are going to suck anyway.

        Florida currently has more depth on defence, but their forwards are a wash and NJ has the better starting goalie.

      • Van.

        Agreed on both comments above. I wouldn’t have taken McNabb but Clifford, nor Engelland but Brouwer.

      • Methot had a 10 team no trade list. Narrowing down vegas options. All canadian teams seemed to want him but he had them on his no trade list. All except ottawa who apparently couldnt get a deal done. For what ever reason..

        Vegas’s option to move methot became limited.

      • Id bet money NJ was also on methots no go list

      • You’re probably bang on on that Jeff – with all other 6 Canadian teams on his no-go list, leaving 4 U.S.-based teams, one can almost bet that NJ was one of them. Another factor was likely that some teams who could use a Top 4 stay-at-home D simply could not find a way to accommodate his $4.9 cap hit.

        BUT -and this is a BIG BUT – what the hell was McPhee’s hurry? They have no worries about exceeding the cap with the overall pile of crap he has for Gallant. Why not start the season with him and see what’s being offered come next trade deadline? I’d be willing to bet big that he would have received something infinitely better than what he got from Dallas – who must be laughing up their sleeve at the new rube on the block.

        I also think there simply HAD to be at least one or two other teams needing D upgrade who ARE on his approved list and who had cap room who could have offered better than that – including Ottawa (and Daley confirmed that a player COULD be traded back to the team from which a player was drafted).

  7. “a host of other teams ….” damned faded script and auto-spell – LOL

    • I actually like the “ghost of other teams” lol. It sounded right to me, like even the Nordiques would have paid more to improve their D.

      • LOL. Me too now that I think of it – and don’t forget the Kansas City Scouts, California Golden Seals and Cleveland Barons.

    • Methot wasnt about to do vegas a favour. He had a 10 team no trade list.

      You smart guys should know that

      • The main point is how did McPhee not have trades lined up for SOME of the other players if he wanted to go bananas on defencemen? As Striker pointed out, there are at least two teams that he should have taken forwards from (Striker: I had Clifford and especially Brouwer on my mock list too), but took lesser defencemen that he has clearly had issues moving for any value.

        Methot is too valuable a defenceman to give up for a 2nd round pick THREE years from now and a 2017 7th round pick goalie who, if he even makes the league, won’t play for 5+ years. Ottawa may have been in position to trade for him at the deadline if they had injuries/rookies needed more time and I can’t see them not giving up a better package for another playoff run if needed.

        It is a virtual guarantee that some team at the deadline would have given up more that Dallas did now. Terrible asset management by McPhee.

    • The simplest explanation would be that McPhee is trying to make new buddies in the western conference.

      • That’s one approach – make your immediate competition better by giving up what top players you latched onto for a cheap song. Of course, that approach also limits your tenure as a GM. As it should.

  8. If we are looking at depth, playing the match up game can be misleading. For instance we could say:

    McDavid > Moore, but Matthews > Draistl, Kadri > RNH, Bozak > Letestu so Toronto wins? (this is just a slippery slope argument to make a point)

    You need to rank them and match that way.

    McDavid is the oilers best, and whether or not he plays C all the time, Draisatl is their next best, followed by RNH and Letestu. Draisatl may play some wing, but he is still their 2nd best centre, and if they move him to the wing sometimes it’s just because he has the ability to do both, and he is likely doing so because it’s to the oilers advantage to do so.

    When you look at the two lists side by side this way you get:

    McDavid > Matthews, Draistl > Kadri, RNH > Bozak, and Moore ~ Letestu.

    So the Oilers have a clear edge. The question is about depth, so when you can slot Draistl behind McDavid whenever it suits you, you have better depth than teams that don’t have that luxury.

    RNH – Bozak might be arguable, I think RNH is a better player overall, but he does suffer from being kinda good at a bunch of stuff, but seems to always be missing the thing that puts him over the top. His offense never seems to go to the next level, his defensive game is good, but without being agitating, winning faceoffs, or physical on top players, I think it just holds him back from being an ideal #2 or #3 guy. Same is true for Bozak to some extent, but he is paid less, a bit more offensive, and is really good on faceoffs, so more utility use. That’s the argument, but I still think RNH is a better player today, so better player means more depth, even if he might be a little overpaid for his role and contributions.

    • RNH is underated.

      Oilers deprh down the middle is the envy of the league. RNH just makes to much money.

      • I agree Jeff rnh would be number 2 on the leafs behind Matthews without a doubt

      • You have to factor RNH’s salary into rating him overall. He is overpaid by $2.0-$2.5M for his recent production, which lessens his value in trade significantly if and when he is moved. He is very likely to go in a year or so with McDavid’s and Draisaitl’s new contracts kicking in as Edmonton will have no choice. He has another 3 years at $6M after this one and will still be under 26, so a buyout at 1/3 spread over 6 years (i.e. $1M/year for 6 years) could be their best option.

        I can’t see the Oilers being able to trade RNH for picks and prospects only with that contract. They would likely have to take another bad contract back, hopefully with less term.

        And no, RNH would NOT be Toronto’s 2C. I’d easily take both Kadri and Bozak over him even without RNH’s bloated contract. This is coming from a Sens fan.

      • Van
        Would you not factor bozaks expiring contract in to his value as well ? RNH will never be bought out , I could see him being moved for sure , but a buyout is not even in consideration .

      • Rnh is a 2nd line centre neither bozak or kadri are as good as rnh

      • Agree, RNH makes too much money, but is very underrated. Still only 24 years old and I think will have a breakout offensive season at some point. The only centre on the leafs I would take over RNH is Matthews.

      • Kadri has passed RNH for me.

      • Maybe in a fantasy league striker

      • Kadri had 30 goals and over 60 points last year and has a great contract. Even if they had the same contracts, I’d rather have Kadri and it isn’t even close.

        People always complain about the Toronto bias, but Edmonton fans seem even worse given these arguments. Taking into account the contracts, I’d rather have Pageau at his new contract ($3.1M for the next 3 years) than RNH for 4 more years at $6M.

      • Haha ! Says the leafs fan who claims RNH value is nothing because of his contract BUT makes no
        Mention of bozak on his expiring contract and how that affects his value . Gold .

      • I’m actually a Sens fan, which I’ve said many times, and have no reason to favour the Leafs. Anyone who thinks RNH has been better than Kadri or Bozak the last couple years simply hasn’t watched both play. RNH is extremely overrated because he happened to be picked first overall in a bad draft. His contract is really bad for the value he gives his team.

  9. Experts declared this was supposed to be an exciting summer…… NOT!

    • Not so far anyway. But it’s just past mid-July and some teams are still waiting to settle RFA contracts. August could see things picking up on the trade front.

    • Agreed. Extremely disappointed with how it’s all played out.

      Not at all what I was hoping for. Vegas let several teams off the hook for virtually nothing.

      • Bettman and the owners have this league strapped down tight.

        I see it getting worse yet still.

      • Vegas did a terrible job with the expansion draft and lack of deals afterwards. They did well getting Theodore out of Anaheim, but they have botched most of their picks and trades after that.