NHL Rumor Mill – September 16, 2017

by | Sep 16, 2017 | Rumors | 23 comments

Toronto Maple Leafs winger James van Riemsdyk could become the topic of trade speculation later this season.

Latest on the Maple Leafs, Penguins and Red Wings and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

TSN: Darren Dreger noted several Leafs veterans, such as James van Riemsdyk,Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov, need new contracts at the end of this season. He believes they’re of value to the Leafs and other clubs around the league.

While not saying one or two or all of them could be moved by the trade deadline, Dreger points out the Leafs have some young forwards hoping to earn roster spots. He said the Anaheim Ducks would like to add a third-line forward and they’re aware the Leafs have an abundance. He wonders if perhaps they’ll have some talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Leafs decide to shop one or more of their pending UFAs I believe it’ll happen in January or February. However, that will depend upon where Toronto sits in the standings and if any of those promising younger players are establishing themselves on the roster. Right now, the Leafs aren’t in any rush to reach decisions on the long-term futures of JVR, Bozak and Komarov. I expect they’ll evaluate things as the season progresses. 

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Sam Werner reports Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford has his eye on three players who might become available to address his club’s need for a third-line center. It’s believed one of those players could be Riley Sheahan of the Detroit Red Wings. Rutherford wouldn’t elaborate and there’s no indication a deal is imminent. “I believe we have to have the right fit, the right guy to go into that position,” Rutherford said. He’s also reluctant to use Jake Guentzel in that role, preferring he remain on Sidney Crosby’s wing. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford is obviously waiting to see how things shake out as he and his rival GMs evaluate their respective rosters. He could swing a trade before the start of the season or perhaps attempt to pluck a suitable candidate off waivers. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James reports contract negotiations between the Red Wings and free-agent Andreas Athanasiou are continuing. Athanasiou’s agent Darren Ferris said they are “having productive discussions at this point that are a positive indication of the mutual desire to come to an agreement”, though he stressed there’s not there yet. The winger has a one-year, $3 million offer from KHL team AK Bars Kazan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Athanasiou was keen for that KHL offer he would’ve taken it by now. I think he’s intent on re-signing with the Wings, which explains why talks appear to be progressing after several weeks of apparent stagnation. 



  1. unless det gives sheahan away (mid round pick at best) GMJR should wait, watch pto players, watch waivers, and see what he has in some of his kiddos. I’d say wait until deadline but the third center is going to be a number 2 center for at least 25% of the season.

  2. Where is the Duchene update??? Lol

    • Ron.

      A sense of humor! Nice work. Made me laugh openly.

    • LOL, same thanks for the laugh I’m sure Lyle had a chuckle as well.

    • Awesome Ron haha.

  3. Here is why I think the Pens deal might be being held up by the Duchene situation…

    Jimmy has always been willing to overpay to get the guy he wants and to get a deal done in a timely fashion. He’s openly admitted this.

    That he hasn’t done so tells me dominoes might need to fall for the guy he wants to become available.

    • MG.

      It’s possible. I’m still leaning to Rutherford’s original comments. The will explore the other scenario’s 1st. Can any of the prspects fill the role. Aston-Reese not being deployed as a C in prospects camp probably kills what I thought was a possibility. I don’t know anything really about Johnson, Dipauli, Blueger, Simon or Dea might any of them be ready for an audition?

      McKegg was also brought in might he & Rowney fill the bottom 2 C spots? Will Pit grab a checking C of waivers?

      By the trade deadline I assume they will bring in a pending UFA contract to seriously upgrade the #3 C position. Might they not be better served at least in the short term to save that 2.4 mil in cap space.

      Capfriendly currently only has them with 22 players, I have added Pouliot & his 800K cap hit to the active roster as he needs to clear waivers so he stays up, is traded or he will be lost on waivers.

      Pit has 13 forwards on Capfriendly’s roster & the only 1 who doesn’t have to clear waivers is Guentzel. If 1 of them doesn’t play C which 1 is waived to make room for 1? Baring a trade obviously.

      What is the local radio & TV media saying?

      • THey say he has three guys lined up. Sheahan is one of them. I think gmjr is waiting for the aa situation to come to a peak then try to get rs cheaper

      • That has seemed like the obvious target for me as posted here often & long ago.

        I don’t think Det can sign AA until opening day unless they bite the bullet & place Fransen on LTIR before which reduces how much space is created over the course of the season.

        Moving Sheahan in trade before all teams need to submit a 23 man roster Oct 3rd & not signing AA till Oct 4th doesn’t get Det cap compliant. More salary needs to move!

        Det may have to pay someone to take Fransen’s cap problem, then they could trade Sheahan & sign AA prior & be cap compliant on Oct 3rd.

      • No, Aston-Reese is a Ryan Malone style winger and will be groomed as such.

        I actually think the Pens do have a guy who could TEMPORARILY do the job but no one mentions him…Scott Wilson. Better skater and better hands than Rowney. Played center in college.

        In the meantime, they are clearly holding out for either something big or (more likely) something good but cheap.

        Wilson, Kuhnhackel and Pouliot are the players who seem expendable in that regard.

        I do hope they do better than Riley Sheahan.

        Haula, Faksa or Staal (in that order) are still my wish list. Bozak would be intriguing because it would push Kessel to a third line.

      • Thks MG.

        Local insight helps. Wilson has been bandied about before.

        Come the trade deadline a far better option can be had, going to be curious to see how it plays out over the course of the season.

        I don’t think Faksa or Staal can be had, Haula? Maybe but to some extent Vgs targeted this player in their negotiations with Min to avoid this player going to UFA status & not selecting Dumba.

        Bozak being reunited with Kessel is an interesting option if he’s still available & unsigned come the trade deadline.

      • those three arn’t realistic targets. car has no reason to move staal, vegas targeted haula so must have some investment, and dallas has no reason to deal faksa.

        pens have plenty of former centers in their organization but dont want ZAR, who played some center, guentzel, etc from playing there.

  4. Anaheim has several significant injuries that are going to run into November & December. Vatanen & Lindholm are gone till some point in November, Kesler December & now Larsson their next prized Dman is coming up lame after prospects camp due to knee surgery in April.

    Kesler’s injury opens up a roster spot for some one but really that’s a short term need if being injured to till December counts as short term, that’s almost a 3rd of the season lost & he will need additioanl time to get back up to speed.

    I assume that pushes Rackell back to C until he returns or should they decide to make a trade but I don’t see that being for JvR, or Bozak, Komarov? Maybe I have always felt he would be a good fit in Anaheim but 2 concerns. What happens when Kesler returns & what value does Komarov has as a pending UFA?

    The top 3 lines in Anh appear set if everyone is healthy. Move wingers around as you wish. Again a roster spot in the top 9 has opened up until Kesler is fit to play.

    Rackell, Getzlaf, Eaves.
    Cogliano, Kesler, Silfeverberg.
    Ritchie, Vermette, Perry.

    • Maybe the Flames will break the no win streak at Honda Center this year.
      With Ana missing all of that talent, you’d think the Flames could take advantage early this year…… perhaps.

      • I agree.

        People talk about Dallas being the most improved in the west but for me it’s Calgary. The additions of Hamonic & Smith, the resigning of Stone & Verbeek 1 & 2 days before the UFA market opened, both had time to speak with other teams & the continued development & growth of Gaudreau, Monahan, Bennett, Ferland & to a lesser extent Lazar is significant.

        Add in the signing of 1 of the best UFA college players in Foo & Jankowski & Kulak; needs to clear waivers, NHL ready & I really like Calgary this season.

        I’m leaning to ranking them 2nd in the Pacific behind Edm ahead of Anh due to those injuries, & not far behind Edm, in or around 4 points but struggling with where in the west; Chi, StL, Nas & Min. So many teams are going to be better, Win is right on the cusp of greatness, is it this year? The standings are going to be so tight it doesn’t really matter but I do lay wagers for playoff teams by round so you need to try & figure out the stupid bracket system the NHL is using.

        My biggest concern is Smith’s ability to stay healthy at the moment & if he should can Gillies come up & carry the load. I have little faith in Lack to do so but the D is solid it has been for several years but struggled regardless, partly due to support from the forwards.

      • Sorry should read if he shouldn’t not should. Typing from my phone, these eyes can barely ready the screen. Ha-ha!

  5. Our 1st preseason game tonight, LA & Van. Meaningless really but it means NHL hockey is truly back & that’s a good thing.

  6. Pens sign Jordy Bellerive. Undrafted out of Lethbridge.

    Another in the undersized, but fast and skilled mold of Conor Sheary.

    Ironically, the player I’d compare him to in the little I’ve seen so far is Matt Duchene. A bit smaller, but similar skating stride, quickness and stick length.

    • I can’t say I’m familiar with this guy. But I think you’re setting that bar a little bit high for him. Pretty much nobody had this guy above a 4th rounder. And that’s about as generous as it gets. I don’t see many opinions out there that share the opinion of a Duchene type player at all.

      • I’m comparing style, not necessarily caliber.

  7. Wow would love Eric Haula for the Penguins 3rd line center…..not sure what Vegas is looking for? I would go Olli Matta straight up…… or Derrick Pouliot and a draft pick. Haula is a speedy talented young player the Penguins could use…

    Sheahan Detroit is ok he is young and will have a better year,can’t be worse
    Tyler Bozak Toronto is too expensive.
    Ryan Spooner Boston I’m not a huge fan of
    Matt Duchense is a pipe dream. too expensive only 2 years of control

    I would take Ryan Nuggent Hopkins Edmonton.Yyes $6 million a season, but he is only 24, and under control for 4 more years. In 4 years $6 million a season will be a bargain..we do well with Edmonton cast offs..LOL

    • I’d offer Vegas a first round pick and their choice of Wilson, Pouliot or Kuhnhackel for Haula.

      A Hagelin-Haula-Hornqvist line would be great.

      • Agreed MG the new Triple HHH line another WWE line first HBK Shawn Michaels and now Paul Levsquese …what a great third line with speed, talent and grit…

        Maybe Kuhnhackl, Pouliot and a pick…