Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 15, 2017

by | Oct 15, 2017 | Rumors | 29 comments

Latest on John Tavares, Zdeno Chara and Andreas Athanasiou in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there’s every indication New York Islanders captain John Tavares is waiting for certainty on the club’s long-term future before committing to a long-term extension with the club. The Isles are awaiting the state’s decision on their bid to build a new arena in Belmont Part. He believes Tavares is also willing to wait for the state of New York’s decision until the free-agent market opens on July 1. 

However, if the Feb. 26 trade deadline approaches with no rapid, favorable decision for the Isles, the club could face a difficult choice. They could ride it out with Tavares and risk losing him for nothing to free agency on July 1 or move him at the trade deadline for a big return, preferably to a team he’d be willing to sign with, such as Tampa Bay, Toronto or Montreal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Islanders decide to trade Tavares by the deadline, there’s no certainty he’ll end up with one of those three clubs listed by Brooks. The Lightning seem set at center with Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson and Brayden Point. Ditto the Leafs with Auston Matthews, Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri.

The Canadiens could certainly use Tavares but they lack sufficient assets to pry him away from the Isles. Habs GM Marc Bergevin could prefer waiting for free agency to pursue him.

The cost of re-signing Tavares (seven years, over $10 million annually) would be difficult for those clubs to absorb.

The Leafs need sufficient cap room to re-sign Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner to the expensive new contracts they’re sure to command (especially Matthews), plus they must re-sign or replace pending UFAs James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Leo Komarov.

Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov will certainly be due a $10 million per season raise by 2019. The Canadiens have over $60 million invested in 16 players for 2018-19. Signing Tavares will eat up a huge chunk of their remaining cap space.

I’m not suggesting there won’t be any suitors for Tavares if the Isles put him on the block at the trade deadline. There will be teams with sufficient trade assets and cap space to land him. However, I doubt the Lightning, Leafs and Canadiens can pull it off. The Lightning and Leafs don’t need him. The Canadiens probably can’t afford him. 

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports there were “some rumblings” that some teams had contacted the Boston Bruins to inquire into the trade status of veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara. The 40-year-old Bruins captain is in his 20th NHL season and eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said he isn’t planning to trade Chara and instead hopes to re-sign him. Chara has also expressed interest in remaining with the Bruins after this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara’s no longer the dominant defensemen he once was, but he’s still a very effective top-four rearguard. Teams in need of short-term help on the blueline could benefit by his presence. However, it’s apparent he and the Bruins aren’t in any hurry to part company. I can see the two sides agreeing to a one-year, bonus-laded contract. 

Nick Kypreos reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland met with the agent for restricted free agent winger Andreas Athanasiou on Thursday in Arizona. The Wings aren’t moving off their contract offer of a two-year worth $1.9 million per season and still see him as part of their future. Kypreos expects a resolution one way or the other by this week, with Athanasiou either re-signing with the Wings or playing some meaningful games in Europe. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Athanasiou should take the Wings’ offer as he’s not doing his NHL career any favors with this impasse. However, it’s up to him. It’s been suggested there’s more to this standoff than money.



  1. John should let himself be traded at deadline and then resign with ny in offseason. He would be signing back to a team improved by the resources garnered by his trade.

    • If its true about the Leafs having to give Matthews at least 12 million and also have to sign Nylander and try to fit in Marner at some point ( if they keep him ) there is no room for Tavares long term.
      (so put that to rest)
      If I was Tavares Id sign in New Jersey …stay close to home and go with a club that is on the brink of amazing things and has an amazing core…its almost a perfect fit for both parties!

      Regardless of where teh Bruins sit at tradedeadline …they need to move out Chiara…weather or not he waives his NMC is another story!

      The Wings are in a semi rebuild mode as per what they say…( Full rebuild IMO )
      if there is a bigger deal and AA is a center piece id say the Wings should make a deal here and reorganize and take on some pieces that will be better long term in multiple areas!

      How about a serious trade with the Sabres they have a lot of good pieces they would move as they need an injection…they are not clicking right now and its been 3 years now.

      • you ever watch the movie “phantom Tollbooth”?

      • I would be shocked if Tavares isn’t resigned by NYI. Just like Stamkos did with TB right at the wire if necessary. We get the misfortune to have to discuss it endlessly until then but NYI has a way better roster & prospect group than NJ currently.

        Few willingly sign in NJ as UFA’s unless paid a premium to do so but Shero has done a great job & as the system changes NJ could become far more appealing destination. I sure enjoyed watching them the other night. This isn’t your old NJ Devils. It was actually fairly entertaining something NJ hasn’t displayed in years.

    • Sound great in principle & I love the idea but risky as it would have to be done on a handshake & what if Tavares changes his mind after the fact.

      Who was the last Stud to do something like this? The only player I can even think of this AM that has was Winnik. Tor traded him to Pit at the deadline in 14-15 for a 2nd & a 4th, then brought him back for 2 years as a UFA flipping him again to Was at the next trade deadline for Laich, Carrick & a 2nd.

      I’m sure there must be others just can’t wrap my head around it at the moment. Getting 2 2nd’s a 4th & Carrick for Winnik in essentially 1 calender year is pretty impressive.

      • The deal to build at Belmont has been in news lately and Brooks just Mekong assumptions to fill a column. Does anyone really think Tavares worrying about where Isles might be playing 5 years from now? Brooks is Rangers beat writer, and usually doesn’t even have inside stuff on them. If he’s concerned about current stadium he can always play next year at MSG! Doubt he leaves Isles. Would be a disaster for team if he left.

    • Someone’s an islanders fan.

      • Not at all. I’m a Ranger fan and Brooksie is an idiot

  2. Lyle, should that blurb above not read “The Wings aren’t moving off their contract offer of a two-year worth $1.9 million per season “

    • I remember picking your Sens as a dark horse last year George, they are looking damn good on this road trip. Wait til Erik gets back

      • As long as they kept winning on the Left Coast the date for Karlsson’s return kept being pushed forward on the simple theory “why rush him if it’s not necessary.” Of course, some pundits were seeing something else, offering up the thought that he had “suffered a setback.” Anything to grab attention in headlines.

        But as I keep saying, it’s October hockey. I don’t expect the Sens to keep up a 4 goal per game pace just as I don’t expect to see any of New Jersey, Colorado or LV at or even near the top of their divisions come late December.

        What I DO like about the Sens is seeing perceived non-entities like Borowiecki, Wideman and Claesson playing significant minutes in shutting down two otherwise powerful offenses. That D is a lot better than many are willing to concede and will only get better once Karlsson makes his season debut.

      • Ottawa has played great. I really enjoyed the game in Vancouver the other night. These points garnered on this trip to the west are significant.

        Just a semantics issue & not meant to be argumentative but Wideman & Borowiecki playing barely 15 mins a night aren’t significant minutes for me in a shut down role. over 4 mins of TOI/GP for Wideman has come on the PP.

        They have played great though in the roles they have been deployed in. As we discussed the other day I would like to see Wideman given a greater opportunity. He fits outside the lines for me so I struggle to project his abilities but he seems to have earned that right to receive a greater role.

        Cleasson has been exceptional as a replacement for Methot.

      • I don’t CARE if Borowiecki and Wideman’s minutes are significant in your eyes. What does that have to do with anything? Find me another 5/6 pairing anywhere in the frikken league that log significantly more minutes then they do.

      • Calgary and Edmonton are playing some bad hockey Sens do look good but received some fortunate help.

    • Fixed.

      • “What I DO like about the Sens is seeing perceived non-entities like Borowiecki, Wideman and Claesson playing significant minutes in shutting down two otherwise powerful offenses. That D is a lot better than many are willing to concede and will only get better once Karlsson makes his season debut.”

        Is that more about the system though George rather than these guys playing above their heads?

        As a Leaf fan, I’m dying to have a Montreal playoff series but my second pick would be a renewal of the Sens rivalry though I would feel more confident of us beating Montreal over Ottawa.

        Figures though, the Leafs finally have something to look forward to and yet so many other teams have the same type of hope lol….in any event it means some real good hockey for a few years.

      • A lot of players are misjudged in the league as a result of their inability to adjust to a certain rigid system, but suddenly shine after moving elsewhere. In the cases of Borowiecki (led the league in hits last year despite playing 5/6 minutes), Wideman and Claesson, however, these guys are much better than most observers are willing to admit, and in the wings are Chabot, Jaros, Harpur and Lajoie.

  3. With Eriksson possibly out for a perioD of time, I wish Benning would buck up and offer-sheet Athanisiou or make a sudden stantial trade offer.
    His size, speed and willingness to drive the net are what’s missing from Canucks

    • What would you offer AA? Salary & term?

      • Whatever the max is that only costs a 2nd rnd pick

        4 yrs @ $3m/ ?

  4. I don’t follow the logic on the Tavares thing.

    He’s reportedly unhappy playing at Barclay’s for all the known reasons but any new building wouldn’t be ready until 2022, which means 2023 after the inevitable delay.

    So, he’s so unhappy playing at Barclay’s that he’s willing to leave the organization BUT is willing to resign and play at Barclay’s for 5 or 6 more years as long as he can have his retirement ceremony in the new building at Belmont?

    OR he could just drive across the bridge and sign with the Rangers, who have a gaping hole at center…and are seemingly in no rush to fill it.

  5. Sweeney not interested in trading Chara, would prefer to resign him. I would say it’s important for Sweeney to be listening to any potential deal for Chara. If the offer is a first round pick, he needs to listen but if its a second or a b level prospect, then leave him tutor. Can always resign him in the offseason for another season.

    • I’ve often wondered if Big Z would accept a trade back to Ottawa – with an apology thrown in for the way Muckler “mucked up” that Redden-Chara fiasco. With him playing solid Top 2 minutes alongside Karlsson, spelled now and then by lesser 3/4 minutes – that would put the Sens in a good position to take another deep playoff run. With them picking low in the 1st round, I’d relinquish that along with one of their D prospects.

      But that, I realize, is just wishful-thinking.

      • ” … D prospects NOT named Cabot.”

      • Thought that was Murray that “Mucked” that up.

  6. Chara is still leading the Bruins in TOI/GP by 2 mins per game. He & Carlo are the #1 PK pairing & they log all the hard assignments, they are still the Bruins top D pairing.

    The Bruins aren’t trading Chara, ever. He will be resigned. It’s like having a coach on the ice & with all the youth Bos is implementing on their D & coming his steady influence is vital to this team.

    When he finally retires in 2 to 3 years I assume he will just move into coaching & player development with the Bruins. I assume at some point his ice time will be reduced & he will be moved to a 2nd or 3rd pairing but it hasn’t happened yet.

    • I KNOW that. I SAID it was wishful-thinking. Jaysus. Stop the lecturing! A flippant wish seems to wave a red flag in front of your eyes every bleeding time!

      • My comment wasn’t directed at you I did’t even post in your thread but posted separately. Apparently it’s not just the script your struggling with.

        If you don’t have anything nice to say & don’t just want to discuss the merits of the debate please refrain from the constant personal barbs.

        There is no need to be rude but if you persist I will respond in kind.

        As I have stated numerous times George, I’m not forcing you to read my comments nor am I forcing you to write responses. I respect you may disagree with me but make an argument stop directing abuse at me.

        Do you lack the intelligence to make an argument & be civil, talk about narcissistic attributes.

    • Striker, I disagree with your logic. Whatever Chara decides to do in retirement doesn’t cost nothing. You are talking about a 40yr old slow dman. If a team comes knocking Sweeney ears better be wide open, it’s his responsibility to the franchise not to be narrow sighted and to have a look out for the future and present. It’s called asset management.