NHL Rumor Mill – September 8, 2017

by | Sep 8, 2017 | Rumors | 33 comments

Former Buffalo Sabres captain Brian Gionta continues to weigh his options.

Latest on Brian Gionta plus updates on the Golden Knights and Stars in your NHL rumor mill.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: With NHL training camps opening next week, former Sabres captain Brian Gionta is weighing his options. The 38-year-old right wing is an unrestricted free agent.

Gionta’s agent, Steve Bartlett, said a number of teams have expressed interest in his client. The winger had hoped to re-sign with the Sabres but their offseason acquisition of Jason Pominville seems to have filled his right-wing spot. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gionta’s agent didn’t indicate which clubs had interest in his client. At least he’s had some offers but it remains to be seen if he’ll accept any of them. His preference could be clubs in the Eastern Conference, where he’s spent his entire career. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen recently noted five questions facing the expansion Golden Knights entering training camp, with their logjam on defense topping his list. They have 13 defensemen on the roster, with 11 on one-way NHL contracts. Schoen expects general manager George McPhee will attempt to move one or two blueliners before the start of the season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some of those d-men could be demoted to the minors. If McPhee shops one or two of them, Clayton Stoner, Luca Sbisa or Jon Merrill could become trade candidates. Don’t expect the younger guys with upside, such as Shea Theodore, Colin Miller or Nate Schmidt, to be dealt. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: During a recent live chat with Stars fans, Mike Heika was asked what he thought the trade value might be for blueliners Jamie Oleksiak or Patrik Nemeth. Heika said he wasn’t sure, though he believes both could benefit from a fresh start and could be in the top six on several clubs. However, he notes the Stars like both players and believe they could fit well into the club’s new system under new head coach Ken Hitchcock. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Stars will evaluate their performances this season to determine if they fit into the club’s long-term plans. If both continue to struggle to crack the roster on a full-time basis, one or both could hit the trade block later in the season.



  1. Not sure why VGK took so many mediocore defence. They may have to give some away for virtually nothing . Leverage- the rest of the league.
    Maybe Stoner gets you a 6th round and Sbisa 5th, maybe

    • According to the Canucks Sbisa was worth a 1st rounder and a prospect. Hard to let a Norris contender go in the expansion draft. Although now that he’s no longer a Canuck Im sure he’s garbage now.

      • Stupid in Stupid out.
        Don’t quit your day job.

    • They already have Mark Methot away for nothing.

      • “gave” – sheesh – damned faded script

      • A second round pick and a prospect for a guy whose skill is supporting superstar d men and dragging down the others men. Very reasonable return for methot.

      • definitely disagree with you Chrisms. He is a top 4 defenseman easily, a 2nd rounder in the 2020 draft is a fair price? Could you be any more biased?

      • not biased at all. look at his stats for playing with karlson and away from him and it obvious he is a drag on anyone who isn’t there to lift him up. him playing with any of the other sens d men made them worse than when they played with other d men (not karlson). not biased at all… just factual. and what was he worth? a first rounder? maybe at the deadline but the knights have too many d men now. holding him till the deadline when you can get a reasonable return now wasn’t a good use of resources.

      • I’m not about to argue the merits of Methot as a D. In fact, I’ve always felt that the request to Phaneuf to waive his NMC in order to protect Mathot, and the glowing terms used by Dorion after losing him in the draft, were of the politically-correct variety, and that the guy he really didn’t want to lose was Claesson (despite the repeated arguments put forth by a certain someone that he “never liked Claesson).

        Methot’s cap hit was $4.9 mil and I’ve always felt he was never in that bracket. However, I do think he was a decent enough D in the right role and hardly consider a junior goalie who may never see the light of the day in the NHL – certainly not for at least 4 or 5 more years – and a probably low 2nd round pick in two years time (again, not a roster factor for at least 3 or 4 years, is hardly a “good return.”

      • That can’t be directed to me as I said I like Cleasson. Just needs development time. Hard to project what he might be.

      • what would be a good return for a guy making his salary who cant anchor a pair unless the other guy is a norris caliber d man? people panning this trade… what would have been appropriate? A second round pick and a prospect seems legit to me. and considering vegas is possibly competing for a playoff spot in 2019 a 2020 2nd is good trade bait.

      • Chism Methot was a plus 45 over the last few years. Karlsson wasnt even close. The Sens struggled to score and had some pretty bad goal differentials over this span. Still his ability as D doing his job ie defending is shown in his stats, particularly the plus minus on a team with poor marks in that regard his wete stellar. Karlssons plus minus didnt compare. Methot obviously did something right when karlsson wasnt on thd ice.

        He is also the hio check master. A move i will miss.

    • stoner was the gifthorse that gave them theodore.ANA had to protect Silverberg and struck this deal to do so instead of giving up a first round pick like other teams to protect exposed stud players

  2. Just bought my second annual hockey mag; don’t know why, I know more then them. They pick Nashville to beat Toronto for the cup. I wouldn’t be surprise if Nashville didn’t make the playoffs. With Ryan Ellis out until January will see.

    • Which Magazine?

      • The Forecaster

      • It’s the best news stand pool mag, McKeens is ok as well but only available in PDF, but none are great. Something to read & get some alternate views & perspectives.

      • whats the best one to read on the crapper?

      • Any of them.

    • Even with Ryan Ellis out, I’d still gladly take Nashville’s D over Toronto’s. The forwards though I’d probably give the nod to Toronto since their top two lines are so dynamic

    • Whats funny is mention of toronto in the finals. Thats a nice leap for them to take. We shall see.

      Naahville does have enough D to absorb missing Ellis. They picked up a few forwards but lost Neal. I suspect they will be much the same. Unless Rinne regresses. They will make the playoffs as a lower seed. Whether that translates to a long run is questionable.

  3. be careful you don’t type in spectorshocker.net… yuck

  4. Too funny.

  5. I like Giota – but I think his time to hang it up has arrived.

    • Him, along with Iginla, Jagr and Neil.

  6. Bo Horvat signed for $33 million over 6 seasons – or $5.5 mil cap hit per. I know opinions have differed widely on this guy – we’ll see soon enough who was right.

    • I’m interested to see opinions on this deal as well .. as an oiler fan right or wrong i am glad chilly didn’t chose this path . Even if it brought Leon’s number to 7 million over 6 year term . I suspect leafs fans would prefer nylander next summer to sign 8 x 7.5 over say 6×6.5 (already shown more than horvat) depending on season , pastranak number a close comparable IMO .
      I don’t like it long term for the Canucks either .

      • Pastranak to nylander I mean as comparables . Not horvat I don’t think he is in that group . Horvat more in line with wenneberg , horvat being better defensively and similar offensive outputs .

    • Compare Horvat to others in the same pay bracket. I think he’s worth it.

      • I never said he wasn’t worth it . I said I would prefer to go 8 even if it pushed the number / year higher to buy ufa years

  7. I am a Leaf fan but I don’t see them getting to the cup final unless there are some upsets to knock out Pit and Washington. Of course if they upgrade their defensive play who knows?

    • beating warshington now isnt an upset.

    • Depends if washington learns how to play playoff hockey. Aka leave pretty at the door get mean and dirty and shove the puck theough people and into the net