Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 30, 2017

by | Jul 30, 2017 | Rumors | 37 comments

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov will be due for a big pay raise on his next contract.

Latest on the Lightning, Canadiens, Bruins and Avalanche in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks points out Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov will have the hammer in his next round of contract talks with Bolts general manager Steve Yzerman. Kucherov is entering the second year of his three-year deal worth over $4.7 million per season.

Brooks believes the sniper will more than double his money next time around, when he’ll be a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility and holding salary arbitration rights. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Granted, this isn’t a rumor but it is something worth noting for next summer. That’s when the Lightning will be able to open contract extension talks with Kucherov.

Kucherov led the Lightning in goals (40) and points (85) last season. Another performance like that in 2017-18 and he’ll be in line for well over $8.5 million, which is the current annual salary-cap hit of team captain Steven Stamkos. Should Kucherov outperform Stamkos, his agent could seek around $10 million annually.

Yzerman, however, has proven a master thus far at getting his best players to accept less than market value. Wouldn’t surprise me if he manages to get Kucherov to accept $8.5 million annually on a seven- or eight-year contract by front-loading the deal. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton observes the Montreal Canadiens might be unable this coming season to adequately replace departed defenseman Andrei Markov. Despite his age, the 38-year-old blueliner was second to Shea Weber among Habs defensemen in points last season and remained an effective puck-moving rearguard.

There’s not much help for the Habs via free agency.  The notables include Cody Franson, Eric Gelinas and aging d-men such as Dennis Wideman, Fedor Tyutin and Francois Beauchemin. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens have over $8 million in salary-cap space if they wish to add another experienced defenseman. But as Clinton notes, there’s not much left via free agency.

Forward Alex Galchenyuk was often mentioned last month as a trade candidate, but moving him for a top-four blueliner would hurt their already thin offense. Their best bet could be targeting teams with limited salary-cap space, such as Detroit and Washington, but those clubs don’t have much to offer that could significantly help the Canadiens blueline. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty notes there will be plenty of interest in 2017 Hobey Baker Award winner Will Butcher when he becomes eligible for unrestricted free agency on Aug. 15. While he expects teams such as Detroit, Pittsburgh and Toronto to pursue Butcher, he doesn’t think the Boston Bruins need another undersized, unproven youngster on their blueline. He points out the Bruins are already well stocked with promising d-men. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Unless the Bruins decide to trade someone like Brandon Carlo or Charlie McAvoy in a package deal for another scoring forward (and I don’t see that happening), I don’t believe they’ll get into the bidding for Butcher. 

BSN DENVER: In a recent mailbag segment, Adrian Dater cast doubt on the possibility of Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov heading to the KHL next season. He points out there isn’t much difference between Zadorov and the Avs in contract talks. “I’m told Zadorov is looking for $2.75 million to $3 million per year on his next deal. I’m told the Avs are offering about $2 million,” writes Dater. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s not much of a gap to close between Zadorov and the Avs. He gave the club until the end of this month to come up with an offer he considers worth signing. I can see them agreeing to around $2.3 million annually. 



  1. Habs have backed themselves into the position of going into the season with a mediocre at best defense corps. No puck movers at all. This will put move pressure on their centers, having to carry the puck from their own zone all the way up the ice.

    • What centres?

      • McKinnon, Duchene, Compher & Soderberg should be their top 4 until Duchene is moved, if moved, at which point Joist may move to C or Wilson acquired in trade from Nashville could slide in to the middle.

      • Sigh. I’m a Habs fan and agree. I think Galchenyuk CAN be a #1 centre. Maybe an imperfect one, but there aren’t many of those.

        After him, their centre group is thiiiiin.

        Going to be a long season in Montreal.

      • Striker, Compher as a third line center? He is a mid to lower level prospect at best if the avalanche a counting on him to be a top nine forward they are in trouble.

      • Colorado is in the early stages of a rebuild & aren’t trying to compete but rebuild. No 1’s expecting miracles in colorado, they are going to be bad but Compher has a bright future. This being his rookie season I don’t expect much but he is going to play in the NHL & start his NHL development.

        Compher has very good vission & passing skills, drives the play welll & in 3 to 4 years should be a solid #2 C in the NHL.

        I’m not sure why peop$le have hih er expectations for Colorado, again year 2, possibly year 3 of a rebuild but the 2 headed monster wasn’t working. Sakic & Roy weren’t on the same page nor had the same goals.

        This is Sakic’s team now & I will give him at least 3 more years before I pass judgement on his efforts.

      • I suspect Sakic wont last the 3 years your giving him

    • Their D was going to be brutal as it has been for years. Barrie is a transitional Dman. Sakic said he let Beauchemin go as they wanted to dress youth. Zadarobv will be entering his 2nd full season, he will eventually be a solid 2 way Dman & I assume that means Bigras is a given to play in the NHL next season, he is a puck moving Dman as well.

      If they find a trade partner for Duchene 1 of the demands is a Dman I assume that’s a puck moving 2 way guy.

      I have Colorado as the 2nd worst team in the NHL next season to Vegas.

      • You must not have seen Compher play at all last season. Surprise.

        No one even bother to even try to look at the Avs anymore, they all sit on assumptions. Do so at your own peril. They have excellent players who have all been through turmoil since Duchene was drafted in 2009. Sakic, who everyone paints as the bad guy for not trading Duchene already so as to alleviate everyone’s boredom, has finally had the team to himself since Patty took his puck and went home in eons ago back 11 whole months ago. In those 11 months Sakic has set an identity, of which there was none, set a course, which there was none, and began building our own farm system, which we had none, and finally stocking it with talent to fit the new ideal. He has had to learn on the job, given it was a little too soon for him, and had some growing pains. But, I think he’s starting to put it together a little bit now. He seems more like the man who put Scott Stevens to the ice in game 7 of the SCF in 2001. And I assume he’s a little pissed off and has had enough already.

        I digress, Compher is a stud in the making. What he showed us at the end of last season, and after his first solid AHL season, was exciting. He is quite capable, has good vision on the ice, has good speed, good hands, he is great at distributing the puck, and can score. I could boost his ability here, but it won’t change anyone’s minds. You will see him for yourself soon enough.

        Colorado has some internal issues that are finally being addressed, after over a decade of infection. It will take some time to bring this franchise back to health, but Sakic has finally set this franchise on the road to recovery and given it a real purpose for the first time since the end of our glory days.

        We have a good team with some chemistry issues at the moment, but we just dumped some old dead weight and are already faster and younger and more exciting and spirited. We have some really good prospects that will push this year and some that are real close. We aren’t a team building from nothing. Done right, we are just a handful of years away, not decades. We are being built now in the mold of the future NHL. And the Avs aren’t ushering Duchene out the door as the rabid Canadiens media keep trying to do for us. He is the only good piece of an excess position that we have to accelerate the building time. And only to address our greatest weakness on D. But our greatest strength in prospects is D. So at the position we are now in, building for the future, we aren’t destitute, and have good young prospects close. We don’t “have to” trade Duchene, or anyone else.

        It’s ok if people want to rage against the Avs and declare them hopeless, they will be humbled by their words soon enough. It is a great hockey tradition that happens at the same time every summer. The Avs appreciate the attention as they are mostly ignored by the Canadian media anyway.

      • Streamfisher.

        I agree with you on most of your statements. Almost all posters here live in the now. Not sure why. It’s ok for other teams to take 5 years to rebuyild but apparently not colorado. Other players can have an off year but not colorado players. They don’t care about the reasons just the result today.

        I have defended Sakic here endlessly & I like his drafting since he too over for Sherman. He has built a decent stable of prospects & a great many will be in the NHL next season.

      • Striker you just follow stats and don’t actually watch or pay attention to a players on ice play, stats can be used but the play is far more credible

  2. Green to mont might help both teams.

  3. I don’t get it, why aren’t the habs making a move for butcher? He would be a cheap 2-way offensively gifted d-man. High risk, high reward, but cheap either way. I’m a leaf fan, so I shouldn’t be helping the habs out here. You guys gutted your defence, why not take a long shot on this kid. He’s been pretty consistent in the NCAA.

    • Maybe it’s because they – and most everyone else – knows that he won’t be NHL ready for at least 2 years.

      • no idea if Butcher is on the Habs’ mind but until Aug 15 he is property of the Avs and MB is notoriously closed lipped about his player moves, so just because you have not heard anything does not mean the wheels are not turning.

        As far as Detroit’s cap issues, if Nyguist plays center with any skill, he might interest the Habs. Also Minnesota could be cash strapped too once Granlud,Niederieter, and Foligno are signed so maybe Brodin’s name goes into the rumour mill again???

  4. When it comes down to teams “bidding” on NCAA free agents, the salary is at a cap and it only comes down to what roles a team can offer no?

    Butcher’s agent has already come out and given a few suggestive statements about him coming to Vancouver.

    Possibly having 2 prospects such as Butcher and Alex Kerfoot land in their laps is definately a nice add to their deepening prospect pool

    • Has Kerfoot signed? He was drafted by the Canucks in 2012 & has completed his 4 years of University, he may sign else where?

      • New Jersey drafted Kerfoot in 2012.

      • Correct sorry, brain block this AM. Has he signed with NJ? Isn’t he doing what Butcher is doing waiting for UFA status. He’s a smurf at 5’10” 150lbs, at least by body weight.

      • Yes, same situation as Butcher, Kerfoot played at Harvard and was listed at 175lb.

      • Capfriendly has him at 152. Even at 175 turning 23 in 2 weeks one has to wonder why he hasn’t spent his 4 years in college building up his body mass.

      • Kerfoot had planned to sign but with too much depth at center, the writing would be on the wall that he would be starting in Utica, which wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
        Entitled rookies want it all I guess

  5. cause Butcher is going to the Penguins. Period

    • Butcher to Chicago and Kerfoot to Pittsburgh is my guess.

  6. If the Pens can sign Butcher they can move Maatta/prospect/pick for Duchene.

    • Do you seriously think Butcher can step into a major league D right off the bat? Ain’t gonna happen almost anywhere – except maybe with the team that drafted him in the first place.

  7. Conor Sheary signs for 3 years at $3 million per year.

    Butcher’s agent was borderline courting the Pens in talking to the PG beat writer. He’d immediately be the #8 D man in the organization.

    • I wouldn’t say number 8 is at all guaranteed
      He could be somewhere between Taylor and Prow who both came from college. The Pens are loaded with call up caliber dmen just like last year. It Bengsston wasn’t sick last year he would have been the best of all of them. The top 5 dmen are pretty much set but the competition for the last 2 spots on the NHL roster is going to be fierce. I’m pulling for Pouliot but I think he would benefit from a fresh start somewhere like Colorado where he can figure it out without fear of being benched

      • Hunwick wasn’t brought in for 2 years at 2.25 per to be a blackace. He will play in the top 6 almost always baring injury or the odd nights rest to get Pouliot or Rhuwedal a game.

      • The best 6 will play and if Hunwick isn’t one of them then oh well. Same goes for Cole. Pouliot is a left shot but plays better on the right side. I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy Hunwick as much as I enjoyed Lovejoy, Scuderi and Hainsy. And by enjoy I mean despise.

  8. Markov may have still been an effective d-man but his points would have dropped off this year with Drouin replacing him on the PP. So the point production part of his game won’t be missed as much as some expect. Hope he does well with AK Bars and has a great Olympics

  9. So given Montreal’s situation on D why wouldn’t Joe Haggerty suggest them as a possible suitor for Butcher as well? Since they have cap space and all.

    • Pls don’t give any credibility to haggs.

  10. How about Staal , promising young center Buchnevich and a 2nd for Galchenyuk . Montreal has the cap space and are looking for defensemen and getting a center and a pick also .

    • Buchnevich is not a center……

      • Just checked you are right my bad , how about Staal and Liam Anderson for Gally

      • In order for the rangers to get rid of staals contract and get galchenyuk they would have to give up a lot