NHL Rumor Mill – July 3, 2017

by | Jul 3, 2017 | Rumors | 59 comments

Montreal Canadiens want Alexander Radulov and Andrei Markov to return, but on the club’s terms.

Latest on Matt Duchene, Alexander Radulov and more in your NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is willing to welcome back unrestricted free agents Alexander Radulov and Andrei Markov, but on the Habs’ terms. During yesterday’s press conference announcing the re-signing of Carey Price, Bergevin said he’s made his final offers to Radulov and Markov and won’t negotiate any further.

If both players sign elsewhere, Bergevin said there’s no suitable replacement for them in this summer’s free-agent market. He also said Radulov’s asking price was expensive. “If I told you what Radulov’s agent was asking in January, you’d fall off your chair,” he said in French. He also said it would be first come, first served for the duo. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars are reportedly among the clubs with interest in Radulov. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Radulov, who turns 31 on July 5, is believed seeking a six- or seven-year, $42-million deal, while the Habs apparently countered with a four-year contract. Markov, 38, wants a two-year, $12-million contract. Of the two, I expect Markov to be most likely to return. Still, it’s possible both could land with new clubs very soon, though it’ll likely be for much less than what they’re currently seeking.

Their departures could put Bergevin into the trade market for possible replacements. He’s got nearly $60 million invested in 20 players for 2017-18. He could either re-sign restricted free agent forward Alex Galchenyuk or trade him for a scoring forward or top-four blueliners. 

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline yesterday reported the Blue Jackets were trying to swing a trade to acquire center Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche. Discussions between Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen and Avalanche GM Joe Sakic held lengthy trade discussions on Saturday. Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray was assumed to be part of a possible deal for Duchene.

Portzline speculates another Jackets roster player (“perhaps Boone Jenner, Oliver Bjorkstrand or Cam Atkinson”) would have to be included. The Jackets could also have interest in Ilya Kovalchuk in a sign-and-trade scenario with the New Jersey Devils.

Kekalainen told Portzline yesterday that he was comfortable heading into next season with his current roster, meaning he’s not gutting it just to acquire Duchene or break the bank to land an expensive free agent. Portzline said it’s no secret the Jackets GM wants to add a top-six center and he’s aggressively shopping for one, but he won’t get reckless. The Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins also reportedly had trade discussions with the Avs regarding Duchene.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Avalanche GM Sakic apparently won’t budge from his high asking price for Duchene, reportedly with a good, young established top-four defenseman as the centerpiece of the return. It also appears, however, those clubs with interest in the Avs center remain insistent on Sakic lowering his price. This standoff could be resolved as early as today or it could stretch on for weeks.

As for Kovalchuk, NHL Network’s Brian Lawton said he’s heard the left wing seeks a three-year deal worth $6.5 million annually to return to the NHL. If so, I doubt he’ll find any takers for that price. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently reported the Rangers, prior to signing Kevin Shattenkirk on Saturday, inquired into Colorado’s Tyson Barrie, Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba and Carolina’s Justin Faulk. The cost for Barrie was Brady Skjei, which is a non-starter for the Blueshirts. Trouba and Faulk were ruled off-limits by their respective teams. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s understandable that the Avs would want a good young defenseman if they were to move Barrie in a trade. For all the talk of Trouba and Faulk perhaps becoming trade candidates this summer, it appears their teams have no intention of moving them. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reported Saturday the Minnesota Wild had talks with unrestricted free agent center Matt Cullen. The discussions, however, failed to yield a deal. 



  1. I’m not giving ANY player a deal at 31 that stretches into their late 30s or early 40’s. These kind of contracts have toxic written all over them. 6-7-8 year deals are risky at any age. Signing these type of deals at 31 is just insane!

    And I know people will bring up the Jagrs, Lidstroms etc. for every one of these players luck enough to enjoy a good, productive long career… I’ll raise them a Danny Heatley, Marc Savard, Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan, on and on.

    If I’m Montreal, I just shake Radulovs hand, thank him for his service, and have security escort him to the door!

    • Especially when they’re also given a full NM clause – like Marleau just got AND at age 38!

      • I like Marleau, but I’m scratching my head on both sides of this deal. It’s just odd. Toronto is a good young team. I don’t see the need for Marleau. I take JVR over Marleau any day. And I don’t think that JVR is landing you a top 4 d-man like some are expecting. Certainly not with one year left on the deal, or a ++ included. Somebody needs to put Lou in check. This is the kind of signing that drive NJ into the ground. Lou never quite grasped how to work in the cap world. (I’m not picking on Toronto here)

        All that being said , Gms have been given too many options to move bad / dead contracts. You sign this type of deal on Radulov, you should have two options, buy him out, or ride him out! No more circumvention by sending to Arizona, or another dead team.

        Or….. just do away with the cap altogether!

      • I’m fine with the cap, but something I think would be interesting to try is maybe like a “luxury tax”. By that I mean, say the cap ceiling is $75 million, you can go over by a pre-determined amount (say, $3 million, just for argument sake) but in doing so, you also lose a 4th round draft pick in the upcoming draft, and you have to pay, let’s say $100,000 into a pot that gets distributed to the teams that lost money that season. Just an idea…

      • I’d be good with a soft cap / luxury tax. Larry Brooks wrote a pretty good article ( this is the 1st and more than likely last time I EVER say those words.) about the cap and how it’s not really a level playing ground. Based on a 4.5 million dollar contract, there is nearly a $500 k tax difference between a NY or a Nashville, Tampa, Miami. Not to mention the gross differential in the cost of living. And I mean disgusting! I’m not exactly familiar with Canadian tax, but I understand they are in the same boat as far as taxes.

      • Quebec, for one, is taxed to death. And B.C. is about to experience that with the emergence of a Green-NDP coalition. Don’t get me started on the Ontario tax fiasco – both provincial and municipal. Then again, we get what we deserve.

      • As Alberta is discovering much to their horror.

      • As a Leafs fan I see absolutely no reason to acquire Marleau. We need defence and everybody knows it. Very underwhelming signing in my opinion. There are four very good defenders sitting on TSN’s Trade Bait list; Sbisa, Barrie, Tanev, and Demers. Again no reason to sign Marleau; none! And for that money also!

      • Lou doesn’t know the cap eh ? Think he got rid of lots of unwanted cap space pretty easily … see lupol and robidas …

      • So, did Lou cause their injuries or whatever it is that renders them as “unfit to play.” If their medical problems are real Lou had nothing to do with it – the situation just fell into his lap. If it’s bulls*^t and there’s no reason why either should not be playing other than their lousy contributions, and Lou knows that full well, then he’s an effing cheat and should be censored by the NHL. Are you advocating cheating? And don’t give me the crap about “just using the rules as they are written.” Both cases smell to high heaven.

    • Ya, risky move for the Leafs. It seems obvious that they want to go for it while the have these young guys on ELC, like CHI and PIT did. My issue is year 3, Matthews will hit the jackpot and it will count against the cap in the 3rd year of this deal.
      Also seems like a clear sign that JVR isn’t coming back. Either traded for D help now or they let him walk.
      They think they can win now, just wonder what they do to address the blueline, they got a great prospect in Lijegren, but he is at least a year away? Can skate in the NHL today, but plenty left to learn.

      • It’s not like Marleau is bringing a winning Stanley Cup experience to the table. Big gamble for sure but the Leafs obvious that feel he still has the speed to open space for some of their younger players.

      • I hated this deal last night, but have come around. He’s 38 and too old for a three-year deal, but he never gets hurt and is pretty consistent still. The final year of the deal is the year that could be a lock out, if there is no lock out and the guy isn’t performing then they can just send him up to the cottage with their other dead weight for one season. They can make the numbers work for one year. And for some reason Lou seems to get away with whatever Lou wants to get away with in this league. The one I think will end up being a mistake is the price deal. How can a 39-year-old guy account for 10.5 million against the cap. I know he’s a goalie and they tend to play later and can remain competitive, but he has had some pretty severe injuries. And how did you fill out the rest of the team with that much tied up in goal, you also need a back up goalie which ties that money. So now you’re looking at a minimum of 12 or $13 million in goaltending. I don’t know. You mentioned that Marleau doesn’t have a Stanley Cup winning Pedegree, he has been closer than price. Don’t get me wrong, price is the best goalie in the game and I really really like him. Would love to have him on my team, but not at that contract. Term until he’s 39, 10.5 salary and full no trade.

      • No matter what way you look at it’s a bad deal for the leafs

    • It’s a good point though not sure savard really fits with that group.

      • He suffered career ending concussions and since has been traded 3-4 times over 6 years since his retirement? He is exacly what I’m talking about. erosion of skill due to age or injury when on these ridiculous deals should not be movable.

      • Eh. He is a boon for certain teams due to his injuries… he was playing decent previous to that. Like I said good point but savard doesn’t really fit with the point you make. I mean every NHL player can have their career ended in one shift.

  2. Duchene sitting home with his bags packed, waiting to see where he’s going. He’s done with Denver.

    • I agree, it would be hard going back to that dressing room, knowing the circumstances.

    • Yes but are they done with him? He just needs somebody to tell Joe to make a decision already!

  3. Best news of the day, the Rangers reportedly told Trouba is off limits. This is a positive sign for the Jets. I’m hoping this means there is an indication that Trouba was being forthright with his request and is willing to stay in Winnipeg.

    • I disagree, terrible news! For Ranger fans.

      • That I agree with, he would look good in ranger blue.

    • Good news for Jets Caper, from one of their biggest critics. Really hope they bounce back next season. They have the makings of a great team there potentially so far. Hope they realize it.

  4. If Boston is negotiating with Colorado for Duchene, no doubt its starts with Carlo, then probably Spooner and a 1st. NO thanks for a guy with two years left on his contract.
    It be like the Seguin contract where after 4yrs the bruins have nothing to show for it, except it be in two years.

    • Agree Caper, we will likely see Debrusk, McAvory, Grezlyk, Cehrilik & O’Gara get a shot this year. Next year, JFK, Zboril, Synyshen and maybe even Lindgren, Frederic and Lauzon. Plus they have 2 young tenders with big upside.
      I do see the need to start looking for that elusive top line center to come in behind Bergeron and Krecji in the near future. Perhaps that is the thinking with Duchene, but that is 3-4 years away not next year, unless they plan on moving Krecji. But even if half these young players turn into the real deal, they will need spots for them. Or even they can be the assets to get you that center with more team control. The good news is that the Bruins now have options and flexibility and can afford to be patient.

  5. Not crazy about the 3rd yea in the Marleau contract but he a great skater so I think it will be okay. Another thing did you notice it’s all front loaded in the first two years so he playing for a million in the last year interesting!

    • What about years 1 and 2 ? This is a 38 year old coming off a 4th declining season and terrible playoff .. 46 pts last year , if jvr and his 62 pts goes out and let’s just say a Colin miller type comes back , is this a win ? Not for me

      • Striker ? I know you haven’t like the idea of jvr being traded . What do you think is next for Lou now ? Jvr out ? And for what type of return ?

      • I don’t get not just extending JvR. With 1 year remaining the return won’t be great, decent but even if futures are added should he resign, that often only gets you a future 2nd round pick.

        If Shattenkirk moved at the deadli e essentially as a sought after Dman facing UFA status look at what was paid for him & think less. In or around a 1st & a prospect of some nature.

        I don’t see him returning a Dman of any significant quality. In this cap world players often get jettisoned for nothing.

      • I agree with you . I think Lou wasted his chance to maximize jvr at the deadline if he knew he wasn’t going to re sign him . Now his return will be decent , as you said but won’t return the d man the leafs covet . seems strange all around for the long term with marleau coming in for 3 and more than likely Jvr out .

  6. If I had to come up with a number for Kovy, that’s pretty much exactly what I expected. He left the game as a first line work horse three years ago, and pretty much anyone who’s come back from KHL hasn’t lost much. He’s had injuries, but it hasn’t stopped him from being productive in a skater’s league and he’s a big player like Jagr is (and not that physical) so age won’t really affect his play that much (he’s still only 34), so it puzzles me. It’s not like he’s a one dimensional player either: he plays both PK and PP.

    Either way: I have a bad feeling about this situation for Devils fans. I think what he’s asking for is completely fair. He’s given absolutely no reason that he can’t play as a first/second line wing on primary PP unit and with PK assignments as well. He’s likely going to score 25-30 goals. He doesn’t have character issues other than that he wanted the chance to play in Russia, which I get.

  7. I don’t understand how teams think they can keep giving this much money to so few players. Everyone wants to be paid like their superstars.

    Was just had to cut Johansson & still needs to sign 8 players with less than 9 mil in cap space.

    I have defended Marleau here for years even getting into it with Lyle about him this year but to much money even on a 3 year term. Thornton 1 of my favorite players of all time way to much money even for 1 year. Price insane even if he is the best goalie in the world & perhaps 1 of the 5 most valuable players in the world today.

    The next lock out is going to be longer than 1/2 a season yet NHL teams will still be paying out 150+ mil to players who signed contracts with signing bonus monies paid whether there are NHL games or not.

    More than 1/2 the teams in the NHL can barely turn a profit & that’s with making the playoffs. Players complain about escrow yet keep demanding monies that push them well over their 50% of hockey related revenue.

    None of this makes sense to me. Maybe 10 teams in the NHL can be profitable in this business model. Please stop the insanity.

  8. I simply ask “Why ?”. Was Price demanding that figure ? I doubt it. You now have 4 players over 10- Toews, Kane, Kopitar ( which is a disaster) , and Price. If Price is the best goal tender in the world then pay him as the top paid – which is not $10.5….Washington is in big trouble. I did not realize their payroll was so out of whack. I guess Vrana and Bowery make the team next year for financial reasons.

    • Also, holds true for McDavid. If he is the best in the game pay him as such which is not $13 million a year.

  9. JVR is a top 20 LW easily in the NHL-odd not to resign him already

    Maybe everyone on this list I would take before him. Maybe

    • So why not re sign at his age ? What would you give up to acquire jvr with only a year left until ufa ?

      • Perhaps he’s one among those who really wanted no part of Toronto in the first place. The Flyers signed him as an RFA to a 6-year $25.5 mil extension without NM/NO Trade clauses, but in his first year of that deal he broke his foot, missing most of the season. The Flyers then dealt him to the Leafs in June of 2012 for Luke Schenn.

        He’s been a good soldier for the Leafs but maybe, just maybe, he fully intends to test the UFA waters when he comes due.

      • the Ducks can still move a young D and make a run with JVR without resigning him or he signing him

        I think the Wild moved out all the D they can

        Not sure any team that is 100% a contender that has a D the Leafs are after and would give up for a possible rental

      • So wouldn’t Lou have some knowledge or feeling on this ? The deadline last season would have been the time to get max value , seems short sighted if Lou knew and knows jvr isn’t part of the plan going forward

      • Anh isn’t moving a dman any time soon. The D market has closed. We are back to good luck with out paying a guge price.

        I like JvR, below avergae defensively but I don’t care 30 goal top 10 scoring LW’s don’t grow on trees. He just isn’t returning any for of solid younger top 4 Dman.

        Is Hall better than JvR?

    • Probably. Although I’m not sure Marchessault belongs on that list despite the past season. Jonathan Cheechoo once scored 56 goals for SJ – then 37, then 23, then 12 – then gone.

      • That was directed at ds above.

      • Just head shaker…maybe Lou knows more than we do.

        Personally I would rather have Sharp than Marleau and not just because of the 5+million dollar difference.

        BTW was looking up what Sharp signed for and by mistake typed in Patrick Sharp sings…


    • Forgot guentzel

  10. Maybe the NHL brain-trust (and I use the term loosely much like the grey-matter between some ears both in team management and the NHLPA) think they are closing the gap with the insane contracts doled out in the NBA and MLB and, to a lesser extent thanks to no guaranteed deals, the NFL). BUT, unlike those leagues which are driven by the hefty TV contracts in addition to live gates/merchandising, the NHL is almost totally gate-driven. The TV money received from NBC and the Canadian sports networks is a pittance compared to those leagues as is the revenue from merchandising.

  11. I love Lou and the ML management team for designing the Marleau retirement fund. Leave it to Lou and Shanahan to screw up the team yet again after the Fletcher and Burke experiments

  12. the Marleau signing initially looks bad but the structure of the contract along with the Leafs having Cap space over the next 3 seasons and Marleau’s great fit on the first line LW make it a decent move imo. Could see him putting up over 50 points, being a leader and playing solid 2 way hockey. the only thing i don;t understand is why not use that money to extend JVR and have him on first line LW? Only reason i can think of is they don’t want to give JVR a 6+ year deal as they would rather spend that cap space on a dman.

    • As a Leafs fan I hate this deal. I was at a wedding yesterday and fairly busy when I thought i heard that the habs gave Marleau 3 x 6.25, I had the biggest grin on my face only to check twitter and have that smile turn upside down.

      I don’t get it but have to make peace with the move. Thebonly way this makes sense is what all the commentators here are saying, JVR moves in a trade within this week.

      I dont see where marleau fits: JVR, Hyman, Komarov and Martin.
      The top three RW and centers are set as well.

  13. Radulov to the Stars.

    Teams aren’t done quite yet, but Edmonton (mostly because of McDavid), Calgary and Dallas look like the strongest teams in the West right now.

  14. Hey Nyr4Life…..Would you talk to Vegas if you were Gorton and offer Staal for Kruger to shore up 3rd/4th Line center and guarantee more playing time to DeAngelo?

    • I think Gorton should call anyone who will listen! I like Staal. I hate his contract. Biggest question, will Staal waive to go to Vegas? I doubt it. I think they bought out Girardi because neither guy was willing to waive. 2nd question, is Vegas willing? As far as DeAngelo goes…. Idk. I think they should look to Graves, Day, Zborovsky before DeAngelo.

      I don’t like that he’s on his 3rd team since being drafted in 2014. It’s odd to see a team give up on a 1st round draft pick so early. But now two teams pass? I’ll hang another big “we’ll see” tag around his neck. Ny has done well with project guys in the past. Stralman was on his way out of the nhl when NY rolled the dice on him. But this one just has bad imo written all over it.

      • Would have been nice if we also got Duclair back in the trade too lol

      • I hung a “we’ll see ” on him too. Didn’t look so good last year. He didn’t fit then, and now with Kreider, Miller and Vesey on the left Zuccs, Nash, Grabner and Fast on the right, where would he fit? 4th line? I still think he’s a bit suspect.

        I’m sure it’s possible someone will come along and talk about Duclair being a “stud” who needs 476 1/2 more games before he fully developed…. but don’t believe the hype!

    • Vegas has to many dman already. They need to trade at least 1 more or come Oct they will be waiving several.

  15. Between Haula, Kruger, Lindberg, Eakin and Karlsson, Vegas has a lot of third line centers.

    Haula is the best of them and would cost the most in trade, but I’d find out what that price is if I’m Rutherford.

    He would be an upgrade over Bonino. I’d offer a first round pick for Haula and a third. We pick better in the third than the first lately anyway.

    • we pick only in the third rather than the first lately. I’d hope a third line center didnt cost a first… but then a 13th forward cost a first’ish.

    • I like Lindberg & Eakin way more than Haula.

      That said Haula may play LW & Eakin RW with the C’s possibly looking like this.

      Shipackyov, Linberg, Karlsson & Kruger.

      Just spit balling & Vegas still has trades to make so far from settled.

      • Linberg could be a RW & flip Eakin or Haula to C.

        I like Lindberg, he has untapped offensive skills if deployed in an offensive role. He has scored every where but the NHL so far in his career.