NHL Rumor Mill – July 24, 2017

by | Jul 24, 2017 | Rumors | 48 comments

Will the New York Rangers buy out defenseman Marc Staal?

Updates on the Rangers, Red Wings and Golden Knights in your NHL rumor mill. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wonders how the New York Rangers will address their third-pairing defense for 2017-18. With forward Jesper Fast starting the season on injured reserve, they could start the season carrying eight defensemen. He speculates over the futures of Marc Staal and Nick Holden, who both struggled through the second half of last season.

Buying out Staal in their 48-hour buyout window following the settlement of center Mika Zibanejad’s pending arbitration hearing would free up around $3.57 million in cap space for next season, but Brooks has doubts the Rangers will go that route. They could keep him for one more season in hopes he’ll have a healthy performance.  

Holden could be a trade candidate but moving him could prove difficult, especially with the Vegas Golden Knights attempting to peddle blueliners. Given the lack of depth in available centers, perhaps Holden could be converted into one. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zibanejad’s arbitration hearing is slated for July 25, but he’s likely to be re-signed before his hearing. It’ll be interesting to see if the Rangers buy out Staal within that 48-hour window, but I don’t think they’ll use that option. A buyout would count against the Rangers’  cap payroll for the next eight seasons. They could try moving one of their rearguards (such as Holden) in September during the training camp/preseason period. 

THE ATHLETIC: Craig Custance recently mused over how the Detroit Red Wings will address their salary-cap issues. They’ll eventually place sidelined forward Johan Franzen on long-term injured reserve, giving them around $900K in cap flexibility. However, that’s not enough to re-sign restricted free agent forward Andreas Athanasiou. Meanwhile, conversations are ongoing with unrestricted free agent winger Thomas Vanek, who spent most of last season in Detroit and has expressed interest in returning to the Wings.

Custance said the Wings don’t intend on buying anyone out, so that leaves a salary-dumping trade as an option. Trade candidates could include goaltender Petr Mrazek and forwards Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan. They could also get some additional space by demoting a player to the minors. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the three, Nyquist would have the most trade value. He’s exceeded 40 points in each of the past four seasons. However, he carries a $4.75 million annual cap hit through 2018-19 and has a full no-trade clause. Last season’s horrible performances by Mrazek and Sheahan will adversely affect their value in the trade market.

NBC SPORTS: Cam Tucker cites a recent report in the Las Vegas Review Journal indicating Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee doesn’t seem in any hurry to trade a defenseman. “We’re at a manageable number right now,” said McPhee. “We’re pretty close to where we want to be and we’re comfortable with the roster we have.”

Once Nate Schmidt is re-signed, they’ll have 11 blueliners under contract. Five of them (Jason Garrison, Luca Sbisa, Clayton Stoner, Brayden McNabb and Derek Engelland) are eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer. Tucker speculates one of them could be peddled as a rental player to postseason contenders near next year’s trade deadline. McPhee’s made it clear he plans to retain Schmidt and Shea Theodore. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McPhee could move one or two defensemen in September, when teams are evaluating their rosters during training camp and preseason play. It’s obvious Schmidt and Theodore will be part of the Knights’ long-term plans. 



  1. I doubt NY is buying out Staal…. then again I said this about Girardi too. They will have cap room after Zibinajad gets his deal, and more coming next year with Nash coming off the books. So why now? Skjei, Holden, Deangelo, Berenglazov and Pionk are all cheap enough in the immediate future to work around Staals cap hit. Run it down to one year and then buy him out.

    • Losing Nash’s anchor of a contract will be huge for the Rangers. Even if they want to re sign him theres no way he ever makes the insane money he is now. Buying out Staal will only prolong the agony by adding more dead money to future cap space. I agree with NYR4life, let Staal play out the year and let him walk.

      • Staal will still have 3 years left on his contract after this season. There is no walking but a potentially long expensive buyout should NYR choose to go that route.

      • Who is in the #1 center spot for the Rangers?

    • I was wrong about Girardi as well. I thought NYR would wait 1 more year to do so but they needed the money for Shattenkirk.

      I’m happy with the roster NYR is going to ice. If 1 of the kids isn’t ready, Andersson or Lettieri or other then they should have some cap space left to address in the #4 C spot in the UFA market, pick up 1 on waivers or potentially trade for 1.

  2. Holden is big, physical, has a very low cap hit, and can score 10 goals and 30 points. Despite his flaws, you don’t trade that unless the center in return is a solid 40 pointer.

  3. McPhee was praised for using his short lived leverage to squeeze as much as he could from his colleagues.

    McPhee has since been questioned as to why he couldn’t move certain players and why he got such little return for other.

    Maybe his colleagues didn’t appreciate being squeezed by his leverage.

    Maybe he’ll be a paying a “Vegas tax” for awhile into the future.

    Except for John Chayka, general managers are human beings, too. Their subconscious might be adding 10-20% extra to each asking price without them even realizing it.

    • When Sakic Holland & MB r still GM’s it makes McPhee look much better. Granted his extortion position he was afforded has come n gone idk if many GM’s r in any hurry to trade with him.

  4. Although, Nash comes off the books at seasons end, NYR have some players who will get sufficient raises next year.
    Miller,Hayes,Vesey and depending on what happens with Zibanajad he may need another deal too.

  5. NYR doesn’t need to move a Dman. Here are their top 6 next season.

    McDonaugh, Holden.
    Staal, Shattenkirk.
    Skjei, Smith.
    Spare Kampfer.

    DeAngelo will be in the minors until Shattenkirk is possibly injured, he doesn’t suitably replace anyone else if injured. I don’t see Poink NHL ready yet & they may keep Bereglazov up, 1 of these younger 20 something UFA Dman signing out of the KHL as he has the right to return to Russia if sent to the minors if he so chooses.

    • I did say “immediate future ” but thanks for clearing it up. Tell Jeff Gorton I said hi. And thanks for the inside info.

      I don’t see the need for 31 gms in the NHL when you have the inside beat on all things happening. After Vegas blatantly disregarded 9 of your expansion draft selections, I can’t believe McPhee still has his job! Crazy!

      Ps. If Kampfer is on the NY Ranger roster on day one of the season I’ll give you a $1

      • I don’t even know what your talking about.

        “I did say “immediate future” but thanks for clearing that up”

        This thread wasn’t directed at you in anyway, it wasn’t posted as a response to yours. Is there a reason you feel the need to be such a prick? Sorry I haven’t had my tea quota but contain yourself, no need to be an assh—.

        Kampher like Clendening last season will be paid to sit & watch games from the press box. Almost every team carries a #7/8 Dman whose real job is insurance, to sit & practice. A player comes down with the flu, they get a game playing limited minutes, personal emergency or last minute coaches decision, again limited role & minutes. Longer & a better option is called up from the minors.

        Holzer will be on the 23 man roster most of the season but barely ever play. Ponik, Bereglazov nor DeAngelo are not well served being black aces in the NHL. That role goes to players like Holzer. They need to play & play a ton of minutes to develop, they aren’t dislodging any of NY’s starting 6 at present.

      • In fact on your thread I agreed with you.

      • Is there a reason you think you know more than anybody and nothing is likely unless you put your stamp on it? “Nash is a lock at left wing” , “Miller has NEVER played center in NY”, “Pirri will be the 4th line center”, how many times have you been dead wrong ? A lot! So please save your profanity, your fantasy pool, and never ending know it all crap for a bar where some drunk guy may give you the credit you so think you’re entitled to!

      • man Striker…. you seem to be taking a beating lately… whats up with that? Pissin in peoples chowda and crappy pizza?

      • I have Nash as a RW. I never said Miller never played C but sparingly we talked about how poorly that forced role worked. I have no recollection of Pirri comment unless you are referring to the start of last season.

        If your going to attack someone for no reason, eventually enough is enough. Stay on subject debate hockey & quit with the personal bards. Enough is enough.

        I support your team more than you do & I’m not even a Rangers fan. You go off on some rant this morning & my comment was a new thread not a response to yours. If your going to say I’m wrong you better copy paste the posts so we get proper context & at the very least get the facts straight.

        How could Nash possibly play LW as NYR has been constructed. Kredier, Miller, Vesey, etc. Has he or can he, yes but NYR has far greater needs at RW.

      • All good Chrisms. The world is full of unhappy people & some would prefer to slag others than debate or discuss the facts. When they disagree they resort to personal attacks when they can’t discuss & debate them. Shows the level of intelligence of some. I rarely resort to personal attacks but sooner or later I’m snapping. As I am now. NYR4Life can go ? himself.

        No 1’s forcing him to read or respond. My post wasn’t a submit comment to him in anyway. Not sure what’s up his ? this am but a very defined pattern.

      • Striker on June 25, 2017 at 7:29 pm
        Miller just turned 24, & has never played C in the NHL. Nor will he have to long term but he can. The issue will get addressed in trade or via UFA market……..NEVER played center in the NHL…. not sparingly!

        I won’t dig up the Nash “lock ” at left wing…. it’s only a year old and I only need this to prove….. you talk out of your a– an awful lot!!!!

      • And let’s not stoop to level of intelligence…. considering you use to instead of too or their instead of they’re ….. constantly !!!!! I’ll correct you in the future!

      • I staking a claim that you ability to spell is more predecated on your education than intelligence. With a heavy influence by conscious attention to spell things correct.

        I make spelling errors all the time. Yet im the guy everyone around me seems to come to when they need something spelt correctly. Weird i know. But i likely think you all can spell to and know the gramatic rules if you stop ro think.

        Im just lazy and feel no need to prove my education status.

      • To be honest Jeff it’s a huge pet peeve of mine. When I see people say “your stupid ” it makes me both cringe and laugh a little. But I never say anything until someone like scoops (striker) tries to make digs at me on about my education level. For all scoops knows , I could be a brain surgeon or a garbage man…. it’s an attempt to deflect.

      • Thing with spelling and grammar is it is becoming obsolete. Being a good speller or gramamatician in a generation is gonna be like being fluent in Latin now…

      • I don’t see that Chris… at all! Maybe millinials …. but seriously if someone an email to a customer, client etc…. it’s kind of frowned upon generally speaking. It looks terrible, lazy and down right embarrassing.
        This is stuff you learn… or should learn in elementary school. However, my youngest son once came home with a test and the teacher wrote ” your doing great : ) ” So maybe it’s the system that’s failing?

        Either way, between common core math and ( if what you’re saying is true) …. god help us all and our future!

      • Just a different type and focus on intelligence. Texas Instruments made long hand math essentially obsolete and spell check and social media/ instant communication will make writing spelling obsolete. Eventually only mute people will even know how to type. Those skills and energy will be channeled elsewhere

    • On subject….. that means no more fantasy pool talk, what hotel you’re staying in, what cheeseburger u ate yesterday with Donald Trump, Jesus and Mike Tyson? YAy!!! I think that will get a slow clap followed by a standing ovation for you on this board!!!!

      And yes, you did say all of the above … if I had 1/100th of the spare time you do I’d pull it up. It just doesn’t jive with your 66.87 % correct on everything!

      • And how do you support NY more than I do!? Oh wait let me guess…. you now have season tickets in NY too? What’s that 12-14 teams now! You’re an important man!

  6. Brian Dumoulin signs for 6 years with a $4.1 AAV.

    Love it.

    • Great signing & cap hit. Solid up & coming shut down Dman. Pittsburgh’s top 4 is looked up for 3+ years & Cole & Hunwick provide great depth & either can move into a top 4 role when ever need.

      A great time to be a Pittsburgh fan. I well built machine.

      Now they have some monies to go & try to find a #3 C. The UFA market is pretty bleak but a cash strapped team like Detroit might part with a player like Sheahan? with 6 mil & change in cap space a decent solution should be able to be found.

      • Pens still have Sheary to sign so there won’t be much left for a 3c

      • yeah… sheary will come in in the 3-4 range as well… gmjr knows his stuff when he said he had about 2 mil to work with to get a third line center.

      • If Bolland doesn’t get the #1 center position over Stepan in Arizona maybe Pittsburgh can swing a deal? Malkin and 2 -1st round picks for Bolland?
        But what are the odds Bolland doesn’t lock down that spot?

      • Down doggie!!! Bad dog! Bad!

      • Cmon Chrism, they’ve been on the same team for a month now…. I can only resist so long.

      • They are together!!?!!?? I sense a sitcom coming!

  7. As for NYR’s C situation the top 3 are set. Zibanejad, Hayes & Desharnais. Andersson this years #1 pick will be the #4 or Lettieri will assume the role having been signed as a UFA after 4 years in college. The other options are Nieves, Fontaine, Tambellini, Fogarty or 1 of the UFA’s.

    It’s simply a 4th line position so even a UFA like Winnik, Mitchell, Laich, etc. could be signed if Andersson or Lettieri can’t handle 4th line duties. If Andersson adjusts at a decent rate he could usurp Desharnais as the #3 pushing him to the #4 after Christmas.

    • Striker , that`s a pretty weak 123 down the middle, would like to get Bozak for our number 2 spot at center .

      • Another aged C @31.5yrs old is not the answer. Better C’s out there to go after or ride it out til there is a better option. His 2-way play is poor & thats says no.

  8. NHL defenseman can sometimes fall like flies during the season. Stall may not be the player he used to be but he is still a decent D-man to have on your team. Maybe it’s worthwhile howver to take back a bad C/F contract and both teams can be equally better (worse) off. Who that team is, I will not conjecture, but there should be one out there as there are plenty of bad C/F contracts floating around

  9. I have always know how ridiculous Larry Brooks is of @nypost but he is outright incompetent!! Convert Holden to a center?? Really?? U are CLUELESS! Holden has better D stats than 9 of 10 Vegas Dmen! U post wrong facts then pull them off twitter, and shouldnt write for post

  10. When Mrazek was left unprotected for VGK, it came out (or was rumoured) that it was due to bad attitude. That’ll kill his trade value even further.

  11. With the Avalanche lacking signed roster players does NYR try to work some deal with them to take Staal? AVS have the cap space and need for signed roster players, especially on the D side.

    example (not a proposal) Barbiero and rights to Butcher for Staal and a 5th rd pick?

    NY buys out Barbiero.
    Avs get a signed Dman for 4 more yrs.

    • Staal has no trade wont be going anywhere.

  12. Love to see Nyquist on the Sharks. They have the cap space for him and could use an extra winger as they are relying heavily on Meier and LaBanc to make a big jump to fill Marleau’s departure. Given his style, I think he’d be a good fit and SJ has the assets to trade if Detroit needs to reduce salary under the cap.

  13. Sooo..Oduya is a Senator. 1 million dollar for a year with 1.25 million possible àdded on in 5 different bonus criteria of 250k each.

    I like the signing. His game is in decline but he adds needed depth.

    Obviously the Sens dont view him as a Methot replacement. Yet he will have an opportunity to play as much as anyone.

    Ottawa now has on the left side and all under 1 way contract.


    On the right side


    Dorant leave room for Chabot or Harpur. Yet wideman, Boroweicki, Cleassen and Oduya all make under 1.1 mil so if a young giy on a 2 wau contract does impress and grab a regular spot I dont think the Sens will mind putting one of the 4 in the press box at those salaries.

    Chabot and Harpur will have to earn their spot. Thats a goos thing after they rushed Ceci and others.

    Perhaps havung 7 D on 1 way contracts will spur a deal for another area of need.

    Hard to ckmplaon about thos signong though beyond the fact it be nice to get skmeone better.

    • That does create some competition for jobs at training camp- and gives them a log-jam of sorts at F and D.

      The way Ryan played in the playoffs after being inserted at LW – where he played when skating with Perry & Getzlaf in Anaheim – opens up even more conjecture if Boucher decides to slot him in there at the start. But for now, leaving him at RW, the lines could look something like this

      Hoffman – Turris – Ryan
      MacArthur – Brassard – Stone
      Smith – Pageau – Dzingel
      Burrows – Thompson – Pyatt

      White will play C until Brassard returns from his surgery (maybe 10 games in) – likely on the 3rd line with Pageau moving up into Brassard’s spot. But what do they then do with White once Brassard comes back – and in the mix is Nick Paul who showed at the development camp and late last season that he might finally be ready for the bigs?

      On D, with NO suggestion that this will be the pairing, you COULD conceivably have
      Oduya – Karlsson
      Phaneuf – Ceci
      Claesson – Chabot

      which leaves Borowiecki and Wideman scrambling for that 7th spot and perhaps even Harpur who also showed he is ready to move up.

      At the very least, Belleville is goin to have a hard-hitting D corps with Harpur, Sieloff, Jaros and Englund who all like to play it physical.

      I think I’ll be parked in the stands during training camp to see how they’re lining up.

  14. Its time for the Red Wings to move on from Kronwall, stop talking to Vanek (if they are), and give their good young players more ice time. Detroit is much better at drafting and player development than they are at signing free agents.

    Detroit and Carolina would be good trading partners. They are also very familiar with each others prospects. The Red Wings routinely invite Carolina and 6 other teams to their annual prospect tournament in mid September.

  15. Quite the soap opera today. Hey Chrisms, was this better then the trolley tracks?

  16. Pelech 4 yrs 1.6 aav. Bargain!