NHL Rumor Mill – August 23, 2017

by | Aug 23, 2017 | Rumors | 26 comments

Calgary Flames might have some interest in free agent winger Jaromir Jagr.

Updates on Jaromir Jagr, Drew Stafford, Jason Demers and more in your NHL rumor mill.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s appearance on the NHL Network on Monday discussing various topics. Among them was the status of unrestricted free agents Jaromir Jagr and Drew Stafford.

Friedman believes the Calgary Flames are among the clubs that “kind of looked at” the possibility of signing Jagr, noting Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan is one of Jagr’s former coaches. He also said he checked into speculation the Anaheim Ducks also had interest in the 45-year-old winger but found that’s not the case.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Flames are looking at Jagr, perhaps it’ll be in a second or third line role at right wing. I expect Michael Frolik will skate on the first line at that position, which would leave Jagr jockeying with Troy Brouwer for the second-line spot. Of course, for now we don’t know for sure if the Flames intend on signing him. 

Friedman said he’d heard a couple of teams had interest in Stafford around July 1. He notes there’s been some conversations with the Stafford camp over the past week and they’re hopeful of getting something done. Friedman added he’s surprised the winger hasn’t been signed at this point.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman points out, Stafford is never going to be a big scorer but he has the skills to chip in as a depth forward. The 31-year-old has reached the 20-goal, 40-point plateau four times in his 11 NHL seasons. With the right club, perhaps he could hit those numbers again in 2017-18.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox reports Florida Panthers defenseman Jason Demers declined to comment on rumors earlier this summer he spiked a trade to the Vancouver Canucks. He carries an eight-team no-trade clause and was left unprotected by the Panthers in June’s expansion draft.  “That’s between my agent and me and Dale, but I’m going to camp right now a Panther,” Demers said, adding he’s going to be with the club for four more years. He also acknowledged he and the team have to improve.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It doesn’t sound as though Demers will be going anywhere for the time being. If he and the Panthers have better performances this season, it’ll further dampen any trade speculation about the 29-year-old blueliner. But if he or the club struggle again, his name could resurface in the rumor mill. 

WGR 550: Agent Brian Bartlett, who represents free-agent defenseman Will Butcher, said it could take another week for his client to reach a decision over where he’ll sign.





  1. Had this summer turned out to be as busy with trades as some pundits were predicting a few months back, the names Butcher and Kerfoot would be mere footnotes.

    • True George, true!

    • Just like Vesey and Hayes?

  2. Kerfoot in Rangers camp would make me feel better about the center position in the near future.

    • Dreger has tweeted that he is signing with the Avs.

  3. Jason Demers was left unprotected? Wasn’t there talk of the Leafs going after him? Sheesh, must have been one of those don’t take this player and we will give you a pick deals was it?

  4. I think the Jagr saga could be over. It’s just that he can still put up more than 40 points at his age is what’s impressive. Don’t really see why Calgary needs him though. The Flames could really be the team to watch this year despite all the Oiler talk. I think Mike Smith could do well there behind that D; Giordano, Brodie, Stone, Hamilton, and Hamonic. Great group of forwards too. Would love to see an all Alberta matchup at some point in the playoffs again!

    • The Pacific has three teams that will be neck and neck this year. Calgary, Edmonton and Anaheim.
      It will be interesting to see how San Jose does as they are getting older, Pavelski and Joe aren’t at their prime anymore (but still very good) and there is no outstanding young talent.

      Arizona will be a real wild card this year, they improved at forward and defense, if Raanta becomes Talbot 2.0 then they might surprise but I think they are still a year away from being a playoff team.

      LA needs to find scoring somewhere, I don’t see them making the playoffs this year even with a great defense and an Elite goalie

      The Canucks are in rebuild mode.

      In fact, the Atlantic is the only division where there is a clear favorite, which is Tampa Bay.

      • I’m not sold on the Flames improving much from last season. Hamonic has had injury issues to his knee the past couple of seasons, so how many games will he play this season is a big question. Smith at 35 years old hasn’t put up great numbers behind a pretty good defence in Arizona. Not to mention that Arizona also played a defensive style with former coach Tippet. How will he do behind a more offensive style of team, not to mention a more offensive defence? Also Treliving didn’t get what the Flames are needing in depth in the top 6 forwards.
        Also I don’t think the Sharks have fallen off that much. They still have Martin, Couture, Hertl, and Burns who at 32 is still a very dangerous player. Other than Martin and Thornton the Sharks are really not that old.
        Just my opinion.

      • My projections in the Pacific based on what we know today have it a 2 horse race for 1st with Anh & Edm in or around 105 pts.

        Battling for 3rd would be Cal & SJ at or around 98 points, not ready to write SJ off just yet but they are declining, Hertl, Tierney & Donskoi have yet to show their top end in the NHL, Leblanc & Meier look to have solid NHL futures & Meier could be outstanding, Sorenson & Carpenter have some form of NHL futures.

        I have LA 5th but not that far back of Calgary & SJ at about 95 points. The Sutter shackles will be removed & Tiffoli & Pearson are just scratching the surface of their potential. I don’t see how Tiffoli or Kopitar can be that bad again. Cammalleri will help when healthy. They could easily beat out Cal or SJ if things go right for 3rd.

        Arz will be substantially improved, the added development of the youth alone & coming helps a ton but so does Stepan. Hjalmarsson isn’t a significant upgrade for me over Murphy at D, but an upgrade today & better suits Arz’s needs on D. Murphy was still developing & plays more of a 2 way game, Hjalmarsson is all shut down. This trade was to put Arz in a position to hopefully extend OEL next summer. He & Hjalmarsson are apparently good friends. 6th & in or around 85 pts.

        Vancouver should be better, this is more a rebuild on the fly than a complete tear down. Desjardins for me was clueless. When I look at this roster I don’t understand how they were that bad last season. I did have them last in the West last season but expected around 80 to 85 points not 69. I say about 78 this season.

        All these prognostications can change with a single trade or injury.

  5. Unless Viola has moved off his rumored 65 mil internal salary cap for this season more trades are coming for Flo. They are at almost 68 mil with 5 roster spots still to fill.

    As for Kerfoot & Butcher does anyone really care? Neither of these 2 players may even have an NHL futures. Neither even rates on almost any viable prospect list.

    Kerfoot is listed at 152lbs on Capfreindly. Someone mentioned the other day he is now at 170lbs. What has he been doing for 4 years in college. At 5’10” & 23 years old obviously not spending anytime in the gym hoping to have an NHL future.

    • That is a reason why I have a hard time seeing how Johnny Gaudreau will becoming an elite player in the NHL. He has only gained a 2 pounds since his draft year. TSN, Hockeydb.com and NHL.com have him listed at 5’9″ and 157lbs. When he was drafted he was listed at 5’7″ and 155lbs. Grew 2 inches and only put on 2 pounds in 6 years.

      • I guess it’s a question of what your criteria for elite is. For me it’s this. You need to consistently finish in the top 10 for scoring at your position & make the top 5 regularly.

        That takes care of fantasy hockey. In the real world, regular season success & playoff success factors in some how & you have to play some semblance of of defensive game, you can’t be solely 1 dimensional.

        In Geadreau’s 3 seasons he’s finished 5th; 2014-15, 2nd; 2015-16, & 9th or 10th last season depending upon whether you feel Skinner played LW or RW last season. He played both but when he was put with Aho & Rask he moved to RW.

        On #’s alone he appears to be Elite so far, Calgary has made the playoffs 2 of his 3 seasons, in his rookie year surprisingly so; & few had them beating Vancouver to advance to the 2nd round, but boy did he & McKinnon struggle defensively last season, I assume that related to them being given a green light to try & drive more offense under a new coach & system.

      • I think your glasses are too Oiler colored Kevjam. I have been waiting to see Gaudreau get stifled or crushed. But, I have to admit the kid has wiles. He has shown to be fast and smart on the ice. He has superior edges and angles he uses to elude defenders. He may not have the size, but St Louis has shown that in today’s NHL smarts and skill trump size. The kid is a downright electrifying scorer and playmaker already. If he ain’t elite today, he will surely be soon.

        And most NHL players haven’t yet matured physically until at least 25 by medical standards. Plus, I have never been quite sure of any player’s physical records. They are never consistent or in sync.

      • Gaudreau just turned 24 and considering 3 reliable sites have the same weight and hight I would say that is fairly accurate. Also St. Louis played at 180lbs. That is quite the difference in strength.
        When it comes to the playoffs where the games get quite more physical Gaudreau disappears. In 15 playoff games he has 11 points. 7 of those points came in a 6 game series against the Canucks in 2015. Take those away and he only has 4 points in 9 games, all of which are against the Ducks.
        This year I think will tell a lot on who Gaudreau will be. Not every small hockey player who gets into the NHL will be like Theo Fluery or Martin St. Louis, and Gaudreau is even smaller than those 2. I do try and not look through my Oiler glasses but, sometimes they do some how creep onto my face.

  6. No one wants Stafford because he is SLOW. Maybe as a PP2 shooting option but you’d have to be super desperate, and if your team is going to be that bad you may as well play a young guy.

    • Stafford is a very good skater. Not blazing but for a 6’2″ & 215lbs he skates very well for a player his size, better than average in the NHL. He would leave Jagr in the dust although that’s not saying much.

      • It could have been injuries, or perhaps being on the wrong side of 30, but he was slow as heck for the Jets last year. Still has a pretty slick shot though.

  7. where’s my daily “Matt Duschene rumor” update 🙂

    I guess reporters are getting tired of writing the same things

  8. Kerfoot signs with Colorado

    • Which is where Butcher should sign too if he wants a reasonable chance of playing significant minutes in the NHL.

  9. As sad as this sounds, I was actually hoping for Kerfoot in NY.

    • At 23 being as small as he is and never having played against professionals I don’t expect much from him. This could be a blessing.

  10. Dear Lord, if anyone in the Calgary organization is thinking like Lyle and has Troy Brouwer slotted in on the second line, they should quit now. Full stop. No severance, no two-weeks notice, just walk out the front door, and never come back. Maybe find a bridge to jump off while you are at it.

    As a Flames fan, nothing on the Flames roster makes me want to vomit more than the 3 years remaining on Brouwer’s contract at $4.5M per.

    • They might not have much choice, Ken. Depending on how things work out. Maybe Spencer Foo can crack the roster and become an effective scorer right off the bat. Maybe Curtis Lazar finally plays up to fading expectations. Maybe an injury-prone Kris Versteeg has a healthy season. But if not, and if they pass on Jagr or if they sign him and he fades, Brouwer could be their only remaining option. Not saying it’s the best one, but it could be all they’ve got if the others don’t pan out. Cheers.

  11. Ferland is a solid player. A little bit of everything. He will play with Monahan and Gaudreau if for nothing else but protection. I also think Tkachuk is a solid player. Probably will have a bit of a jinx this year but a bright career ahead.
    Bennett is the question and the Jankowski rookie making the team. Brouwer is a third line ,PK , and character spot. Potential trade deadline candidate over the next couple .