Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – September 17, 2017

by | Sep 17, 2017 | Rumors | 61 comments

New York Rangers winger Rick Nash is among several pending UFAs to watch this season.

Several players in their contract years worth watching in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

TVA SPORTS: New York Islanders center John Tavares, New York Rangers winger Rick Nash and Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane are among 10 notable players whose contract negotiations will be worth watching this season.

The list also includes Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund, Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson, St. Louis Blues center Paul Stastny, Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, Vegas Golden Knights winger James Neal and Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The list also included center Bryan Little but he recently re-signed with the Winnipeg Jets. With all the media focus on Tavares, Kane and van Riemsdyk, the others on this list haven’t received much attention.

I believe Backlund, Atkinson and Carlson will sign with their current teams. If Nash has a good season I can see the Rangers offering a short-term (two or three years) for perhaps $6 million per season. Stastny’s injuries hampered his effectiveness with the Blues and it wouldn’t surprise me if they don’t re-sign him. It’s assumed Neal will hit the open market but that could depend upon how much he enjoys playing in Vegas and the expansion club’s potential. 

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites Elliotte Friedman’s Friday appearance on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 discussing several players he’s watching as they enter their contract years. He notes James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak have expressed interest in re-signing with the Maple Leafs. Friedman notes winger T.J. Oshie accepted less money this summer to stay with the Washington Capitals and suggests van Riemsdyk might have to do the same to stay in Toronto.

Friedman’s also curious to see what the future holds for Evander Kane and Rick Nash. He notes the Rangers looked at potentially moving Nash two years ago but he played pretty well last season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oshie inked an eight-year deal worth $5.75 million annually with the Capitals. He basically accepted less money for a longer term. It’ll be interesting to see if van Riemsdyk, 28, is willing to accept a similar deal. Bozak, 31, could be offered a four- or five-year contract but the Leafs could try to keep his annual salary closer to his current $4.2 million cap hit.

Kane’s situation could be very interesting this season. If he’s flirting with 30 goals again the Sabres could try to re-sign him, but he’s earning $6 million in actual salary ($5.25 million cap hit) and could seek that much as his annual average value on his next deal. The Sabres could balk at that, especially on a long-term deal. 



  1. A common thread when discussing upcoming UFAs is the notion that the team “could balk” at re-signing with a bigger cap hit and longer term than is currently the case, despite the fact the player concerned enjoyed a good productive season (e.g.Kane), while conceding that some other team will fork over both. But the law of diminishing returns dictates that, at some point, all 31 teams will be in situations involving their own UFAs/RFAs that will preclude all 31 from signing that player at the price/term demanded. We are seeing hints of that now, albeit all involving old crocks. You have to wonder when a reasonably young UFA who just enjoyed a good season will find himself with no takers.

    • wont happen. the whole no takers thing. but I could see UFA’s have to temper down their monetary expectations. with teams locking up their young stars earlier, longer, and for more money, less money could be thrown at ufa’s.

    • That will never happen, there will always be someone willing to pay for a reasonably young UFA who had a good season, hell the pay for old 1’s that have already shown decline.

      Teams are even willing to pay for UFA headcases who return from the KHL, Radulov, or take a shot on a player who played reasonably well there, Medvedev, 1 year 3 mil per. Thanks for stopping by.

      I wish more teams would use fiscal restraint it just seems beyond most GM’s ability.

      The head scratchier for me was the summer before this 1. NYI made no effort to resign Okposo; Just turned 28 that April, signed for 6 per for 7 years then signs Ladd for 5.5 for 7! He’s almost 2 years older?

      • Pretty tough to resign okposo when he pretty much said he didn’t want to resign isn’t it?

      • I never heard that. I heard they never even had conversations, Snow never even approached his representatives but to answer your question yes it is.

  2. Nash can’t score in playoffs, why would you want to keep him? If he scored even close to his regular season numbers in playoffs Rangers probably would have won that cup

    • Everyone says “Nash can’t score in playoffs” when you look at his career playoff numbers, he really had only one year he struggled…. the cup year. He had 10 points in 25 games. Other than that, he isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Last year, everyone disappeared in the playoffs. Nash didn’t have a great run, but he and Vesey were probably the best forwards out there most nights.

      And there are a ton of nights he is the best guy out there, even when he doesn’t register a point.

      I’d love to see him stay. I’d prefer around 5 per or under. But I’d have no problem with a year or two at 6.

      • Fellow Ranger fan agrees. I have said it before …. Nash is the most overrated and underrated player in the league. He plays in every situation. He has great hockey sense and speed.

        Yes he does not play up to his size and his scoring teases you. He is more similar to Hossa than a pure sniper

      • And I’d take him back for 5-6 million on 3 years

      • so are you saying… nash is overpaid? 😉

      • I agree.

        Nash plays a solid 2 way game & he hasn’t been brutal in every playoff run just a few. Which could be said about many players. Retaining Nash at any more than 5 mil per for 3 years will prove challenging considering NYR’s current contract structure & Staal being a potential buyout candidate in the near future.

        I though NYR would refrain from buying Girardi out for 1 more season as 3 years seemed to onerous a cap buyout but if they made that leap they may again next summer with Staal.

        Miller, Hayes, Vesey, Skjei are all RFA’s next summer, Nash, Grabner & Holden UFA’s & McDonagh, Zuccarello & Buchenvich are all up in 2. Getting McDonagh extended next summer is really important & going to cost a fortune NYR may not have the wiggle room to make Nash work.

        Much depends on where the cap is going, the players reduced the escalator as they don’t like escrow & may vote it out all together. Revenue isn’t growing fats enough to offset even this years escalator.

      • I don’t think NY should put too much thought into Zuccarello. They have plenty of guys on the wing without him. Kreider, Vesey, Buchnevich, and Miller. They should concentrate on finding a center and either trade him, or let him walk.

        Probably NY’s most creative player hands down. But he’s not getting any younger and the 5-6 per he’ll be seeking could be better spent elsewhere.

      • Again I agree. If I can’t sign this type of player for term & money that’s reasonable to me I trade them at the trade deadline or if in the playoffs ride them out & let them walk spending the cap savings else where. I would say him & Nash are in exactly the same boat.

        Walking away from a UFA in today’s cap world as opposed to overpaying in many cases makes sense to me especially at forward & in net. At D I’ll pay.

      • I should qualify that before jumped on by the usual suspects. I’ll pay for the Dman if the right Dman not for every Dman.

        Example, if Chara wants to sign a 2 year deal in or around 4 no more than 4.5 happy to have him stay & mentor the young Dman now on the roster & coming. Like having a coach on the ice, he just has to accept a reduced role & forget the thought of seeing any real power play time.

    • Nash has been over rated and over paid for a long time. All part of the Big Apple hype machine where they think the Rangers actually have a shot at winning the Cup.

      • I’d say 3 eastern finals , a cup final is why people has them as contenders . Not any hype machine coming out of NY media. I have spent a lifetime as a NY fan. If you followed NY sports and media at all, you’d know even NY wins come with a disclaimer/fault.

  3. with pens blues trade history makes me wonder if stasny could be a target for pens. shat makes it clear they dont seem keen on going for it all and losing players for nothing. would depend on his health and if the blues would take futures or a winger. pens dont have tradable depth elsewhere.

    • Chrisms…interesting Stasny would be a god fit for the 3rd line center position. I’m not sure the Pens can fit him under their salary cap…His salary is at least $6 if not more..

    • If I had to guess of anyone who they would likely swap, I would say it’d be Brodziak who showed he can be relevant in the right role (he had 40+ pts in Minny a few years back). Plus the price would be right.

  4. No way Rangers, or anyone for that matter, gives Nash 6 mil. They’ll need savings from his contract to sign their own rfa’s. Skjei, Miller and Hayes among others.

  5. I don’t agree with Friedman that Oshie gave Was a discount taking less. Oshie signed an 8 year deal at 5.75 per. He will be 38 when that deal expires. That deal may look reasonable today but the last 3 years of that deal are going to stink even with the cap having 5 years of growth by then.

    • Disagree about oshies last 3 yrs, not only will the cap be higher but When you watch oshie his game isn’t built on speed at all he sees the ice very well and hits the open holes. Not saying he is jagr but the same style great puck protector great hands and hockey smarts

      • I hope your right & I’m wrong.

      • What major concessions is the NHL going to force out of the players in the next lockout?

        I think it will be the players share of revenue, currently a 50/50 split. I see the players share dropping to at least 47%. That said hockey related revenue will encompass more & revenue sharing will increase substantially, so there is some significant off set & concessions to get that. 2nd contracts; term will be limited to what, I don’t know & how does that play in to UFA status, the major concession the NHL has made to the NHLPA & the over 35 contracts, I see the age being reduced to 32.

        Currently the cap is increasing at 2 to 3 mil per season with the escalator, the stars are eating up a bigger share; McDavids % of the cap next season is greater than Crosby’s was coming out of the last lock out, the same economics will be in play it just keeps scaling.

        To many teams still losing money, over a 1/4 of the league, another 1/4 barely turning a profit & can’t if they don’t make the playoffs. That’s 1/2 the league, the top 4 revenue earners make more monies than the rest of the league combined.

        Oshie could buck the odds & be productive till 38 it would just put him in a serious minority as few have.

        As I write this using Capfriendly’s current rosters; 700+ players, there are only 30 players; I didn’t include Hossa or Fransen, currently under contract that are 35 today, 5 are goalies & of the remainder most aren’t point producers, those are incredibly limited. Vrbata, Marleau, Thornton, Chara; still puts up solid points for a Dman, Williams, Sharp?, Zetterberg, Gaborik?, the Sedin’s.

        Can Oshie buck those odds? Maybe but highly unlikely & I’m betting against that.

      • I don’t know that I’d term it a “major concession” – but what I would like to see is a clause that stipulates all lists of teams in limited NMC become null and void whenever a player demands a trade, thereby opening up the field to all 30 teams.

      • It’s possible George. I’m not opposed to specific types of players or over a certain
        age getting NTC’s & NMC’s but far to many mediocre players are. What’s weird is no 1 is forcing GM’s to give these deals.

        There are only a few GM’s in the league that play hardball consistently. Most bow to the short term pressure or are forced to by ownership but certainly not all.

        I’ll use the Sedin’s. I hope Vancouver resigns them to 2 year deals or 2 1 year deals to help bridge the gap in the rebuild on the fly. They should get NMC’s at 37 next summer, & firmly established in Vancouver they don’t want to leave their young families. I don’t begrudge that to this type of asset.

        If Vancouver doesn’t wish to they will simply retire. It should tie into age & what I really mean is UFA status. players oming out of their ELC’s or signed to contracts before elligable to UFA status shouldn’t get NTC’s or NMC’s.

      • Sorry I should have stated that most meet this type of arrangement & the NHL may in fact have rules about NMC’s.

        McDavid & Draisaitl’s NMC doesn’t kick in till 2022-23.

      • I wasn’t targeting NMC per se – what I don’t want to see continued is for a player (e.g. Heatley) demand to be traded – then be allowed to turn down a location (e.g.Edmonton) when they presented the best offer based on his list of non-destinations. Anyone who demands a trade has to relinquish their choices of desired locations.

      • I agree.

        If I’m GM I say you can honor your contract & play here or you allow me to trade you to anyone if signed to a contract, an RFA refusing to sign all good.

        That said there are always exceptions, like everything in life it comes down to leverage. A playoff team or 1 that thinks it is can’t afford the potential holdout.

        Other than just being able to suspend a player with out pay or potential port his contract, there should be a penalty, a cash penalty, to a player that refuses to honor his contract just like in the real world. Players want it both ways. They want the security of a long term guaranteed contract but when they wish to move they want to move & dictate where they go.

        Kesler held Vancouver hostage. StLouis held TB hostage. Those situations are wrong.

      • Neither the NHL or NHLPA seems to care as much as I do, but they really need to close the Wheeler/Schultz/Vesey/Butcher loophole.

        It’s absurd that a team’s draft pick gets wasted because a college kid stayed in school for FOUR years.

      • no MG… the league needs to expand this for all players that age. Would be better for the league and the players to be able to choose where they play by that age. you would see a much higher success rate with players being able to pick teams that cater to their talents and style. less players get buried in the minors because their particular position is stacked on the team that drafted them. Any player who is not playing on an nhl contract by 22 should be a FA. the elc deals limit the determining factors to location, coaches, depth chart, etc.

  6. The Leafs should have passed on Marleau waited and went after Nash. Might end being similar money and term. I have witnessed Nash score on a 5-3 PK against Calgary. That does not happen very often.

    Paul Stastny has never stayed healthy. I thought an over pay on STL part when they signed him. Buyer be ware

    • StL. had a glaring hole at C coming out of the 2013-14 season. It was the summer of 2014 & we were still in a run away Cap world. 4 years at 7 mil per was an over-payment but the nature of the UFA market. Stastny was 27 turning 28 that December following his signing.

      What UFA hasn’t been overpaid & given to much term?

      The only GM to have shown restraint consistently is Poile in Nashville. I’m not even sure how he pulls it off.

      • Are you saying Nash plays 10 minutes a game and is ineffective 5 on 5? Ill have to side with bigbear and say you haven’t really seen much of Nash at all. Mean …. we are talking about Nash here….. aren’t we? Or just on overall horrible generalization of Pk players

      • Oooops. Wrong spot.

        But while I’m here … weren’t you just trying to justify Hagelins worth by saying how good he is on the pk? Boy ! Those black and yellow glasses never come off , do they?

      • If that was at me I never can justify hags because he is good on a pk. you pay good pk’ers cheap… not 4 mil a year. hags was a good two way player 2 seasons ago when he put up points on 5×5 and on the pk. but hags is overpaid and on a cap max team that hurts.

    • why pay nash when they have a better version in jvr… they will make similar amounts… and if leafs will have hard time signing him and keeping their youngsters how could they get nash? you just get this feeling that when its time for the youngsters to get paid patrick will all of a sudden get an allergy to his equipment and problem goes away

      • Jvr isn’t in the same league as Nash as a competent 2 way player, if you don’t put jvr with a solid defender that line will get lit up

      • his scoring and net presence is better though. not only would I take JVR now over nash, he is still in his prime where as nash is just a teensy weensy older.

      • It only helps if he scores more goals than his team allows because of his defensive follies. Also when Nash plays the pk as well who are you getting the better bang for the buck with?

      • Agreed, especially considering how Nash is deployed. You take any player in the league and give them tougher deployments and their numbers will suffer. Even the almighty Crosby / Malkins of the world. If their PK minutes were to jump from say the current :07 seconds per game to a few minutes a game . I dare say their offense numbers will go down. Overpaid, yes. But very undervalued for what he brings.

      • Apples & oranges. Both will be paid, JvR to score & help drive offense with solid PP time, Nash to do a bit of everything. Being 5 years younger JvR will be paid more & for a far longer term in Tor or else where.

      • term yes… more? I bet nash and jvr make similar monies next season.

      • if crosby and malkin played the pk their numbers would go up. all hail the almighty! they dont play those minutes becuase you dont waste talent… and pk’ing is the easiest hockey to play. move around, stay in lanes, active stick and clear it.

      • I don’t think you’ll find many, if any that will go along with that thought process. And no,their numbers are going down. Not up.

      • Sounds to me like chris only counts goals and assist doesn’t really follow the game with those comments

      • yup… only look at stat sheets bigbear. never watched a game in my life. you got me.

        ny… there is a reason players who struggle 5×5 are generally the teams pk’ers. they arnt talented to do other things. like anything else this is a generalization… there are players that excel at many aspects of the game… but mostly saying a guy is a great pk’er without being able to justify his use for more than 8-10 min a game is saying he isnt good enough to play with the big boys.

      • That might be the dumbest comment I’ve heard about penalty killers! Chris that proves my point you’re a stats reader….geez that’s a major duh!

      • yup… gots me a subscription to and and even maybe you aught to really watch some hockey to and see who plays the pk on most teams? sure dont look like there top 6 in most cases. most cases people highlighting a persons pk skills do so because they cant highlight what else they really do for the team. teams dont put there best players on the ice for pk’ing to rest them for the hockey that takes more talent. stars could easily kill penalties but the risk for injury from getting in lanes makes it not worth it. the very expendable players get that grand ol job.

      • Blah blah blah you won’t be able to back track after that comment, typical keyboard warrior that doesn’t watch hockey


    • Perhaps but our window insofar as the cap works is the next 3 years including this year, Nash is not a FA this year obviously lol.

      I really like how the Leafs are trying to mould themselves after the Detroit model in many ways and what I mean is creating that winning environment where players want to come and in some cases are willing to take less to stay in a good situation.

      Grass is not always greener on the other side.

      • I hope your right but who has taken less to stay yet in Tor yet?

      • Nobody so far Striker but JVR ‘could’ be the worse, presuming the Leafs look at him as someone they would like to keep if he were to fit cap wise.

      • First*

    • You can be sure that Marleau’s in Toronto because Nike Babcock wanted him. As for Nash, I like the Hossa comparison.

    • Nash can’t stay healthy either. Not only does he miss games but always seems to be trying to get back into game shape.

  7. The first NHL trade in 2 and 1/2 months…

    Jamie McGinn for Jason Demers.

    Arizona gets better and Florida sheds another contract. Both teams are happy.

    The Panthers will be the Nordiques as soon as the CDN dollar rebounds and stabilizes. They are a joke of an organization.

  8. Boy has Arz gotten better.

    No need to worry about no where for McGinn to fit on Arz roster anymore.

    I had said Cal was the most improved team in the west only yesterday, Arz just passed Dal as well for me. Not necessarily in the standings but by roster improvement over the start of last season.

    • Are you serious? Did you watch demers last year? He was terrible

  9. while you are not wrong on Nash, I see gorton moving him and his 7.8 if the price is right. Also, if an invite is extended, it will be minimal term [1-2yrs max] and money 2.5m per is closer ballpark.

    Thanks for a site which is informative.