NHL Rumor Mill – February 15, 2018

by | Feb 15, 2018 | Rumors | 100 comments

Reviewing The Athletic’s list of Eastern Conference trade deadline buyers and sellers in your NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun examined the potential buyers and sellers in the Eastern Conference leading up to the Feb. 26 NHL trade deadline. First, the Metropolitan Division:

The Washington Capitals are considered “moderate” buyers. They’re unlikely to go big this year as they did last season when they acquired Kevin Shattenkirk. LeBrun believes their top need is for a veteran defenseman at a moderate price and wonders if Ottawa’s Johnny Oduya would make sense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe they’ll also look at the New York Rangers’ Nick Holden or Columbus’ Jack Johnson, though the latter could be more costly. 

Pittsburgh Penguins still want to add but have limited salary-cap space. LeBrun wonders if they’ll try to bring back Matt Cullen from Minnesota.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: General manager Jim Rutherford could also perhaps attempt to shed salary in a trade for a center younger than Cullen. With the Penguins having improved in recent weeks, he might be reluctant to tinker too much with his roster. 

With goaltender Brian Elliott sidelined five-to-six weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers could be moderate buyers. LeBrun wonders if Buffalo’s Chad Johnson, Detroit’s Petr Mrazek or Toronto’s Calvin Pickard would make sense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers are currently third in the Metropolitan Division. I think GM Ron Hextall will keep an eye on the market but he’ll see how his club performs leading up to the deadline before deciding if he has to add a goalie.

LeBrun expects the New Jersey Devils will be careful buyers, perhaps for a top-nine forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun points out the Devils are still rebuilding and have exceeded expectations this season. GM Ray Shero could add to his roster but he could seek a hockey trade comparable to his swap of Adam Henrique to Anaheim for Sami Vatanen in November. He might not be keen to chase expensive rental players. 

Word is the Carolina Hurricanes are open to adding a top-six or top-nine forward in a hockey trade, not a rental deal. GM Ron Francis is also shopping center Marcus Kruger and is willing to absorb part of his cap hit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes have considerable depth in defensemen to draw upon for trade bait if they wish to pursue a forward. As per Cap Friendly, Kruger’s cap hit is $3.083 million through 2018-19. He also has a seven-team no-trade list. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets would love to acquire a top-six forward. Defenseman Jack Johnson has requested a trade, and it’s believed a low first-round pick is on the table. LeBrun speculates it could take multiple transactions to land a forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, perhaps Johnson gets dealt for a low first-round pick, which is then flipped to another club for a forward.

New York Islanders GM Garth Snow doesn’t want to spend his extra first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft on a rental player. However, he could face pressure to make a hockey trade that bolsters his club’s playoff hopes. LeBrun believes they need help on the blueline more than they need a goaltender.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The goalie market is pretty thin right now. If Snow goes shopping he’ll have better luck looking for a defenseman. I don’t see the Rangers shipping someone such as Ryan McDonagh to their archrival, but maybe they’d part with Nick Holden? Detroit’s Mike Green could be available but he’d have to waive his no-movement clause to accept a trade to the Isles. Pittsburgh’s Ian Cole popped up in the rumor mill earlier this season but that chatter has died out with Cole and his teammates improving of late. Vancouver’s Erik Gudbranson could be a shutdown option if the Canucks fail to re-sign him before the deadline. 

Could the Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning pursue New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh? (Photo via NHL Images)

New York Rangers are sellers. LeBrun expects pending unrestricted free agents Rick Nash, Michael Grabner and Nick Holden to be dealt by the deadline. Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller, Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider have also popped up in trade rumors. He feels Rangers GM Jeff Gorton should try peddling McDonagh to Tampa Bay or Boston and Nash to the Nashville Predators.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much depends upon how much Gorton seeks for those players. Right now, the Lightning, Bruins and Predators aren’t in any hurry to make moves. If they’re looking at those players they’re hoping the asking prices become more reasonable as the deadline nears. Gorton can also remain patient finding a suitable deal for McDonagh, who’s signed through next season. If he doesn’t find one now, he can wait until the offseason. 

Turning to the Atlantic Division, LeBrun believes Lightning GM Steve Yzerman wants to upgrade his defense before the deadline, either with a rental like Jack Johnson or Mike Green or perhaps a bigger move involving someone like Ryan McDonagh. The Lightning can draw upon their draft picks and deep well of prospects for trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Yzerman will acquire a defenseman before the deadline. It’ll be interesting to see if he goes for a rental or a long-term option. He has to be careful not to overpay for someone like Johnson, Green or McDonagh. 

LeBrun also wouldn’t be surprised if Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney adds a forward or a defenseman. He wonders if Sweeney will go for a rental defenseman or a long-term option like McDonagh, and if he’ll pursue a winger such as Edmonton’s Patrick Maroon. Like the Lightning, the Bruins are deep in prospects.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sweeney supposedly isn’t keen on moving his promising young players or top prospects. Given his club’s surge toward the top of the league’s standings, maybe he’ll be tempted to change his mind for the right offer. The Bruins will be worth watching in the coming days. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs could be buyers for a defenseman, as they inquired about Travis Hamonic and Sami Vatanen before they were traded to their current clubs. It’s also thought they’ve asked about Columbus’ Jack Johnson. The Leafs are also at their maximum ceiling of 50 contracts so they’ll have to move one or two to free up some room. LeBrun doesn’t expect them to move pending UFAs James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak or Leo Komarov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs could try to dangle Josh Leivo and Nikita Soshnikov. There’s also talk of moving rugged winger Matt Martin. 

The Detroit Red Wings are considered sellers. Pending UFA defenseman Mike Green is a big fish in the trade market and could waive his no-movement clause to join a contender. LeBrun suggests shopping pending restricted free agent goalie Petr Mrazek to the Flyers or Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Lightning come calling for Green he’ll likely have no problem waiving that clause to go to Tampa Bay. Maybe the Flyers or Isles get desperate enough to take a chance on Mrazek, though both clubs could look at other options. There’s also talk the Wings could try to move Tomas Tatar or Gustav Nyquist before the deadline, though the latter would have to waive his NMC. So far, they haven’t asked him to do so. 

The Florida Panthers could be sellers but GM Dale Tallon said he won’t be moving any of their core of young talent. Veteran winger Radim Vrbata could be on the market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman recently suggested the Panthers could be a stealth suitor for Montreal’s Max Pacioretty. However, if Tallon sticks by his word about not moving anyone from his young core, forget about Pacioretty joining the Panthers. The Habs need a scoring center and Pacioretty is probably their best trade bait to get one. 

Speaking of Pacioretty, LeBrun doesn’t see the Montreal Canadiens moving him before the deadline unless a rival club is willing to part with a good young center as part of the return. Pending UFA center Tomas Plekanec might be dealt but there’s also talk the Habs could re-sign him. Forward Andrew Shaw has also surfaced in the rumor mill but the Canadiens could be reluctant to move him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun also recently told Montreal’s TSN 690 he hasn’t heard Canadiens winger Alex Galchenyuk come up very much in recent trade chatter. Doesn’t mean he won’t get dealt by the deadline. Galchenyuk, like Pacioretty, is under contract beyond this season. The Canadiens can afford to wait for solid offers. 

The Ottawa Senators are sellers. Having shipped out Dion Phaneuf to Los Angeles, GM Pierre Dorion is said to be listening to offers on Derick Brassard, Mike Hoffman, Zach Smith and Ryan Dzingel, who are all signed beyond this season. Dorion seeks a first-round pick, top prospect and a third piece for Brassard. It’s also believed he wants more than a first-round pick for Hoffman. The Sens GM can afford to wait until this summer to get the deals he likes for those players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Senators picking up part of Phaneuf’s contract to move him, perhaps they’ll look at doing the same with winger Bobby Ryan. He’s signed through 2021-22 at an annual average value of $7.25 million plus a modified no-trade clause. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports there’s been no mention of Ryan but suggests the Phaneuf trade could make a Ryan deal possible. 

As everyone knows, the Buffalo Sabres are listening to offers for left wing Evander Kane. It’s believed they’re seeking a first-round pick, a top prospect and another asset for Kane. However, if the Rangers trade Rick Nash soon, it could set the market value for Kane. The Sabres are also listening on Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Nolan, Josh Gorges and Chad Johnson. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see if Nash or Kane gets moved first, as one will affect the value of the other leading up to Feb. 26. 



  1. Striker it can’t be that hard to admit you were wrong . You have had days to eat that slice of humble pie , I am sure by now your sources have confirmed your mistake . I’m definitely interested in how your opinion changes . And of course after you claimed it was so simple and I was over my head i would like to see that pie gobbled up .

    • Wow, sounds like you really need this apoligie from Striker.
      Remember, everyone makes mistakes.
      I was wrong 4 times yesterday alone!
      Good luck to you in your pursuit all the same.

      • I don’t need it . I want it after striker told me it was simple and I should learn the rules . He said he would have no issue admitting he was wrong , which like I said , im waiting for . However I do want to see how it changes his opinion on our debate just as much . I agree with a lot of what he says and his views , he has great knowledge of the rules in most cases. I’m definetly interested to see if he still takes the position of exposing Mcdavid to offer sheets and how that leverage influenced the 12.5 . He sites comparables , who are these players ? Age , scoring title , hart , ted Lindsey and touted as the next generational player . his agent had a lot more leverage than striker interpreted

      • Also not looking for any type of apology lol . Looking for him to acknowledge mistake and offer his position with the change .

      • I am very very sorry Craig 🙁

      • Again . Striker owes no apology , nor am I looking for one .

      • I am not at all sorry Craig 🙂

    • I haven’t had time yet but if you have a timeline I apologize. You were right & I wrong. I will weigh in again when able. Not as important to me as you, your stuck on the 1 issue can a player coming out of their ELC be made an offer sheet, in any scenario? My understanding is no not if they are qualified, & the team files for team elected arbitration, you claim their is a window of eligibility in there. If that’s what I’m wrong about again sorry but that didn’t happen regardless, nor did Edm use the leverage available to them.

      I sent a Twitter to Bobby Mac he hasn’t responded, I emailed Scott Cullen, nothing yet. Nor have I had time to go back & read the thread yet as I don’t care as much as you as in the big picture this rule wasn’t that big a factor. That said I was very specific & I am a stickler for facts & rules. You were right & I wrong. My apologies again, sorry for being so matter of fact.

      Now back to the issue at hand. Draisaitl & McDavid in my opinion we’re both over paid & Edm has screwed themselves moving forward past the 2018-19 season. Paying 2 players a combined 21 mil when you didn’t need to doean’t work for me. This isn’t meant to slight either of these players. They issue isn’t about abilities but costs & the fact both are being paid or about to be paid far more than any of their peers & comparables. This is inflationary to the entire NHL & effects Edm moving forward as much as any other team.

      Now 5 years from now perhaps another generational player will pass McDavid’s 12.5 cap hit. It has to happen eventually it just didn’t have to happen at a 2 Nik premium for McDavid at point of signing. If I factor in the business side of this contract for either player I don’t like the value equation for withers I would eSily pictures a McKinnon, Scheifele, Bergeron etc. At their salaries & cap hits over either of these players.

      Will this suffice until I can make time?

      • Again , not looking for any type of apology . So i guess by that you are willing to expose Mcdavid to an offer sheet next summer to try to save what ?(there is a window July 1-5 regardless of club elected arbitration ) I would guess mcdavids agent named his pride and peter could take it or risk going to next July 1 . I don’t fault peter for not taking that risk . Which comparables is peter using ? I don’t know of many at 21 with the 3 major NHL awards or any who have led there team to a cup ? Points and winning being huge factors to contract as you said . I have acknowledged pete could have played a little harder with Leon , but I was always a fan of going 8 years with him. Overpayment today to buy max ufa years , Leon also has the threat of an offer sheet , top 10 league scoring and his playoff run . I would prefer and did prefer 8 over the 6 type pastranak signed to bring the cap hit down or bridge . But I am acknowledging pete could have went different route .

      • Im not that well informed on the McDavid situation but I agree with Spector in general, they overpaid in terms, do they want a good product around those players? And do the players themselves realize this? They should have paid McDavid 11 and Draisaitl 7, or made a bridge deal for Draisaitl

      • Kent , to build around Mcdavid , you first have to sign him . He had a great deal of leverage and could have waited until July 1 next year if he wanted to really put the heat on pete . Do you think Lou allows Mathews to go to July 1 of his last year ? Never , he will not take that risk and he will pay what Mathews agent sets forth this summer .

    • Striker is too busy being The Most Interesting Man in the World to even notice or remember what you are talking about.

    • Craig that is hysterical though he is busy w/ a role in Airplane :). Remember the part when they kept saying Striker before he punches that girl in it ;)? Sure they will ban that movie soon enough along w/ the Deer Hunter ;). Be lucky he even talks to you instead of ignoring like he brags about doing ;). You make him sound like that Canadian in King of The Hill who Hank gets out of jail after he is arrested ;). He gives up his Kegorator but is never even told thank you by him :). I’m sure he can make time for you after he is done w/ his super model gfs :).

      This reminds me of when got into a dispute w/ CapGeek who listed Tyler Toffoli as Center… I’m like the guy even won rookie of year in AHL as RW, he plays RW, he has taken like 3 faceoffs in his career he isn’t a center ;). Not to be confused w/ Nate who won 3/10 faceoffs who was supposed to help LA there after their awful trade for Dion and him :). Gaborik scores GTG then assists on the GWG for Senators in contrast :).

  2. Rick Nash being such an amazing playoff scorer will bring 2 – 1 round picks, top prospect and a team bus

    • How many has Eichel, Okposo, and O’Reilly have combined again? 23-24 million dollars worth of nothing!

      Do we really need your same comment every day?

      Comment when Buffalo is actually relevant again!

      I’ll see you in a decade!

  3. Look, as a Jackets fan preparing to see another season begin to crash and burn, the idea of Jack Johnson going for a first round pick is kinda far fetched.

    • Paul The goose Guastad was traded for a first round pick so anything can happen. Gooser commonly known as Goosegg for a few Sabres fans had zero career playoff goals at the time in 38 games.

  4. Matt Cullen left with a ring to go home to Minnesota,why would he go back ? Be away from his family for 2 months living in a hotel room.
    Jack Johnson requested a trade some time ago and still nothing. Tampa’s low first-round pick would be better than the farm for McDonagh as they would not have room when is contract is up. Just a longer term rental.

    Josh Leivo and Nikita Soshnikov AND rugged winger Matt Martin collectively do not get you much. Maybe a rental. Gardiner went down last night.

    Pending restricted free agent goalie Petr Mrazek should be a target for the Islanders Flyers. The cost can’t be too much.

    It would suck getting a rental and then not making the playoffs

    • In the playoffs everyone is away from family and living in a Hotel room its a travel heavy time of year …and he would make the move as he isn’t playing for the money hes playing to win a cup again ..whats another 2 months at this point in a 20 year career…and last kick at the can.

      I would take Mrazek in a heart beat ..on a good Defensive team and new surroundings he will flourish ..plus he is getting into the golden years of a Goalies time span and age …he reminds me a lot of Brian Elliott when the Sens gave up on him and then he went on a 3 year tear as one of the best Goalies in the league …a lot of that was timing and team and age in the league…Mrazek is hitting that.

      I think the Oilers should have made a play for this guy instead of Montoya…but yes he is right up the Islanders alley if I was Snow !

    • Well NYR will gladly take Leivo & Soshinikov for Marc Staal…..just let me know when the paper work gets sent over to sign….lol

      • How about Bobby Ryan and Marian Gaborik for Marc Staal and Brendan Smith with NYR eating half of Smith’s contract? 😉

      • VAN..nyr will eat half of Smiths contract if OTT eats half gabby’s and half Ryans LOL

    • Apparently Soshnikov gets you a fourth round pick.

  5. Matt, I disagree. Nash should bring 2-1st round picks, 2-2nd round picks, top prospects, a few warm roster bodies, team bus and the rights to a Phil Esposito hockey stick.

    • WOW… Franco …Your dating yourself there
      (be careful) LOL …”Esposito” …the bus better have wi fi

      • Lol

    • yes I believe you’re right. lol

  6. Kruger’s demotion forced Peters to give Lindholm and Aho meaningful time at center. Peters did not want to rush Aho’s development at center but Carolina has to be rethinking their need for a #1 center. The more Aho is challenged the better he performs. He is ready to play #1 or #2 center now. With Necas, Roy, and Walmark in the pipeline they may be better off trading for a power forward.

    • If I were the Leafs id love to make a play for Justin Williams …this is a guy that I think will really be an addition for the Leafs in a deep playoff push /run.

      His cap for next year
      (1 more year contract @ $4.5 mill)
      will not be a bother as the leafs will most likely move on from JVR and Bozak and most likely Komorov as well ..IMO..

      I think a Leivo straight up would do that for a non playoff team and to replace his position with a skilled forward who plays a lot like he did when he was younger!

      Leivo matches a good team structure in Carolina and saves the Canes big bucks as well next year and they get younger and faster…leafs get a proven playoff performer who can play with skilled guys!

      • I don’t see any need for JW, no disrespect to him and his stellar playoff heroics.
        Firstly, Carolina isn’t out of the race so they may not deal him, even if they do, where are the Leafs placing JW? They got Marleau as the vet acquisition, we don’t need another.

        Leafs RW depth:
        In case of injury they each guy can move up a spot and in fact Komarov can switch to the right and Martin can take 4th line LW duties.

        No need at the Leafs inn for JW
        They need a defeneseman and maybe a depth center, nothing else is relevant

      • I would be shocked if Williams was traded. Williams is too important to the development of Carolinas young players. He is the team leader and is also a fan favorite. Williams makes every player and and every line he plays with better.

        Carolina doesn’t need to save money or get younger and the idea of trading one of Carolinas most important players for a guy that can’t get playing time in Toronto is puzzling.

      • here is my pie in the sky trade scenario..

        to Arizona
        Leafs 1st rounder

        to Toronto


      • How does that trade help Arizona in any way?

    • I’m with you, GP. Though I still prefer Lindholm at C versus Aho, either one should work. This team absolutely could use a power forward, though I’d prefer one with some offensive skill, not just a bruiser. McGinn, though undersized, is acting as that guy, but another more experienced one wouldn’t hurt.

      Based on what I saw so far this year, I can’t see anyone wanting Kruger. I had high hopes, but he showed incredibly little. DiGuiseppe, at about 1/4 the cost, has been of greater use.

      • @ Taz

        respectfully disagree Shoshnikov is not going to be in the organization much longer… IMO ..the Leafs need a Stanley Cup guy in the room it has to be that way..they have none!
        Iam big on Kapanen but they need a playoff guy whos been there done that!

        Yes as of today the Canes are in ..but they don’t have the Goaltending to make it long term as opposed to Columbus or the depth ofa team as the Islanders..but ya never know !

        I dont feel like eating pie ..LOL or maybe I do LOL

      • If Carolina retains 50% of Krugers salary maybe his playoff experience and face off ability would get a look at the deadline but I doubt it. He seems to have the skill set just lacks effort. I thought Tanner Kero, who is now in the AHL, was getting Kruger’s minutes last year so I never really liked the trade. Would be interesting to get a Blackhawks fan’s opinion of Kruger.

        Carolina is fortunate to have had Ryan play well enough to move up and down the lines at center this year.

      • Kruger was purely penalty kill and faceoff specialist. No offensive production was really expected. He was great to have on the team but the value was lost with the high dollar contract for a 4th line guy. He could step into more offensive role at times but just never could put the consistent effort together. (Been reading this site for what has to be close to 10 years, first post)

      • Thanks NapaHawk, good info. The signing and promotion of Kruger by Canes management lead the fans to believe he was much more. The owner even went as far as calling him one of 4 second line centers on the team..

  7. I can see Boston looking at Kreider.
    I know they wanted him bad in the draft that year.

    • Isn’t Kreider on he on IR? That injury sounds painful.
      If healthy, I like Krieder as a player, but that is a longer term deal that would create a log jam on the wing and cost more than current and productive wings on the 2nd and 3rd lines. He obviously won’t replace Marchand on top line so he would bump Heinen or Debrusk down the lineup who are younger, earn less and just as or more productive.

    • @ GP

      All of your comments about J Williams are correct exactly why I would love to have this guy!
      I don’t know if there is a deal to be had ..but was just saying it would be of interest and a need and would love to have that player going into a playoff run.

      Regardless if you dont want to give him up LMAO…I think its a possibility though the Leafs went after him via FA year last year and wanted him!

  8. Gardiner injury came at the right time, the Leafs have no real depth on D to draw from, certainly not enough to go to the playoffs with. This will and should force Lou’s hand into making a deal earlier rather than later. Green should be top of the list for the Leafs.

    • I have a Smith and a Staal if you want either for a Johnny Bower signed jersey. I will even pay for their bus ticket.

    • Id like a guy with term ..

      like Hjarmalson from the Yotes has a cup…

      Leafs do have some depth at D in the minors for a stop gap Holl, Valieve and Neilson…plus Carrick is not a bad D man when not a healthy scratch…servicable.

      No Martin Marincin please !

      • Kal…..Staal in nY?? He has term =) Will not cost much either.

    • disagree. The LAST thing the Leafs need to do in the third year of a rebuild is sell the future for an aging D-man.Stay the course, keep developing the kids.

      • The leafs are a serious team in a wide open eastern conference. They need to add for the playoff run, i’m not saying mortgage the future, neither is that the cost for Green. They have good prospects like Bracco in the minors. The reason Soshnikov and Leivo haven’t cracked the line up in because of the quality the Leafs have on wing.
        The future for the Leafs is Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Reilly, Andersen, Kadri and I am not suggesting one of those.

        Rebuild is done, make smart moves, compete – no reason to not take a shot this year, everyone in the east is beatable.

        I’m not saying the Leafs are favourites but they have a shot and they need to go after a guy like Mike Green who can make a difference not get another plus like gudbranson.

        Stay the course for sure but make moves to give your team a shot.

    • The Leafs may trade for a defenceman but they may also replace Gardiner with one of the Marlies. Mike Green would be a solid addition – what is his market value?

  9. I don’t understand the Jack Johnson for a forward rumors unless Columbus is giving up on the season. Do they have enough defensive depth to compete for the playoffs without him. I assumed he would be traded for another defenseman.

    • Actually, yes, they do. Murray has been cleared to play and just needs a little more time to get back in shape. Nutivara and Savard are a good pairing, and with Harrington, Kukan and, maybe, Carlsson, on the third pairing with Murray, the defensive corps are solid, if not great.

  10. I disagree with Lebrun, until the Isles acquire a real #1 goalie, they will go nowhere, and jeapordize getting Tavares to resign. If their defense was healthy, they’d have one of the deepest in the division. But the ownership really needs to look into firing Snow ASAP to turn things around for the team

    I doubt the Devils acquire a pending UFA at the deadline, unless it’s a depth d-man. They’ll probably want to acquire someone with term, as they still don’t have much coming up in the pipeline up front.

    I doubt the Rangers trade Kreider at the deadline, considering the health issue he’s been recovering from. I doubt he gets traded in the offseason either, unless the team wants to just get rid of his salary.

    and knowing Rutherford, he’ll find a way to acquire another center and fit him under the cap. Either Matt Cullen, or trading Hagelin or Cole for a 3rd line center

    and what is OTT smoking asking that much for Brassard, he is at best a 2nd line center

    • Hey Mike, agree the Isles need a legit #1 tender but not sure that Hasak or Roy in their primes could manage 40 to 50 shots a night like the Isles are giving up now. The D needs to get a lot stronger and that’s just gonna take time for the young guys to develop. Perhaps they try to make a deal with Carolina to swap a forward for a D?

      • Great in theory, Styx, but with the two teams battling it out, likely for WC2, I can’t see them trading at this point.

      • WhalerCan, I agree brother. It would need to be a deal where both teams felt they were better off and better able to compete for those last two spots. Hard to manage when you are fighting for a spot and both likely value their own players more than the other guys do.

      • Watching the Islanders is like Curtis Joseph CuJo on Blues facing 50-80 shots a night ;). Think that was back when Brett Hull was trying to score 100 goals. He had a few setup men over the years hehe. They were going over Halak’s stats after his 50 save shutout for 11th all time… He been facing like 40-50 shots… Only has a .500 record 18-18 w/ one of those wins tonight another vs. Detroit when went in game down 5-2 to win 7-6 in OT. Yet Greiss w/ his .885 save percentage has 10 wins/7 loses a 3 games over .500 record.

        So its not like they are giving him any help in the games he plays ;). They are giving up some really big chances even on the routine saves. SAw one of their D-men kick the puck right to a Rangers player today for a great scoring chance… Think it was Pelock or whatever name is. Halak didn’t get one of those 15 save Osgood shutouts tonight from the Detroit days :).

  11. That Bobby Ryan contract is a nightmare. If Ottawa is unwilling to retain salary what are they getting in return, a B prospect or a 3rd? Would be impressive if Ottawa could shed Phaneuf + Ryan while retaining Hoffman.

    • Joel B, I think the return would be even less if they didn’t retain salary. Nobody would take Ryan with that contract for nothing let alone give up assets.
      I would suggest Bobby Ryan would clear waivers.

      • to AZ: Bobby Ryan ($1M retained) and a 2020 1st
        to OTT: Domi & Bollands IR contract

    • On a Bobby Ryan deal …..

      It will have to be to a team that needs scoring and has the cap room like the Yotes and Sabres …another team of interest may be the Canucks for a player like Sutter, ..Philly for Andrew Mcdonald…Sabres for Bogosian …these teams could use a scoring winger and may look to part with a somewhat significant contract as well…Panthers and Keith Yandle.

      The Sabres and Yotes really need a left scoring winger.

      • @ i hate Crosby
        the Sens need to be really careful here about retaining more money on players with long term deals ..I dont advise they do this again in a rebuild …they all ready have $1.75 mill on the books for Phaneuf over the next 3 years ..lets say they have to sign Karlson for $11 million or $12 million which is what he will ask and should if you add Phaneuf and (maybe more) on the Ryan deal you suggested it will be like paying Karlson around $13 – $15 million a year for a minimum of 3 years ..I would say that Ottawa who has money issues so they say ..should not retain any money on Ryan just to make a deal…It may be better to add or sweeten it with a significant draft picks instead if need be…then try and recoup that draft picks with players you have on the block that may warrant a significant draft back.!..IMO

        I think Ottawa was very short sighted on the Phaneuf deal …they made a mistake I don’t care about the $5 million so they say over 6 years they save

      • Don’t forget that Ryan also has NMC, so not sure he’d be keen going to one of those spots.

    • Well they already managed to free up 7M in cap space trading Dion w/ Nate even w/ the retained salary… Now GAborik can probably still score 15-20 goals if he can stay healthy there… Maybe even flip him before deadline or let him play out season to improve his trade value next season… Unlike Kings who did everything they could to devalue him playing on 3rd/4th lines and RW instead of LW.

      Shedding Dion gives them a better chance to keep HOffman, King Karl, or just about any player they plan to. I think they looked better on Defense vs. Buffalo without Dion. Even their goalie seemed to play better on a modest like 23 saves on 25 shots. Just not sure any team would take Bobby Ryan even if they retain 25% of his contract too. That works out to 1.81M which would make his cap hit about 5.4M which isn’t that horrible looking at contracts like Dustin Brown etc.

  12. I would trade Bozak for the Phil Esposito stick.

    • Sadly the Espo stock is worth more than Smith in NY =(

    • Phil or Tony?

  13. The two moves I’d make if I were Rutherford for a day…

    Offer a 1st, 2nd, a decent prospect (Bleuger, Johnson, Bellerive) and Hunwick for Brassard with the Sens holding 50% of his cap hit.

    Offer a 1st, a decent prospect and a third (maybe conditional 2nd if Pens resign him) for Max Domi.

    Either of these moves just sneaks in under the cap and would allow the Pens to roll out a better group of forward lines than either of the past two Championship teams…

    Simon Crosby Sheary
    Hagelin Malkin Hornqvist
    Guentzel Domi/DB Kessel
    Kuhnhackl Sheahan Rust

    • Love the first trade …. the extra ur offering for DB over his true value is worth it to rid the Hunwick headache

      Re a winger…. bit much for the currently producing Domi…. maybe off-season

      Have NYR eat 1/2 of our Austrian friend and see what it takes

      Nutshell … same line-up u suggested save for Grab in for Domi

      Euphoric smiles all around for getting rid of Hunwick

      Are Leafs stupid enough to bring Hun back …. Leafs need to rid contracts ….. take there lowest paid/worst 2 baby leafs plus give Leafs a 6th, and an ACC beer/dog/fries/slice combo

      • Pens were stupid enough to take sign him….ahahahha

  14. These are the Leafs that are either being targeted for sale or considered as trade bait in my opinion:

    1. Bozak (his value increases as the trade deadline nears because of the limited centres out there)

    2. Martin (they want to shed the remaining years salary off the books to clear some room)

    3. Sparks (if they get a solid offer for him they will move him as his value has never been higher, and I don’t see him sitting on the bench next year to play 10-15 games. That spot goes to Pickard).

    4. Komarov (no longer hits, no longer scores, a blood vessel away from a heart attack and can easily be replaced with Soshkinov. If the Leafs get something for him that is more than they can with Soshkinov it would make more sense to get rid of Uncle Leo who will likely sign elsewhere next year).

    5. Leivo (unless they project him as a top 9 which he would be playing for a bottom feeder, his days are over).

    6. Carrick (likely tossed in a trade for a rental UFA rather than giving up draft picks.

    • @ Franco …

      I would not be so quick to give away Sparks, Mchilhenney is done after next year or maybe even next year…and is the perfect time to inject the “next one” as the back up !
      Sparks is a really high quality prospect and a very good goaltender.

      He is a need to keep in the organization or if Mcilhenney gets hurt will be a very high asset!

      Iam also very weary about letting go of a tough guy come closer to the playoffs and especially Matt Martin who is a really good room team guy!

      They may regret that as well…come playoffs against Boston

      • Despite this surgence in last 5 games …. NOTE seriously outshot outchanced …. I can’t see them getting by Bos …. 3 home gates max …. take the profit and run … 5 year plan …. give up no future assets now… outyear contract swaps OK

  15. I agree on Sparks value. I just think the Leafs won’t keep him in the minors next year and I can’t see him playing the same amount of games as the current back up gets.

    How do you factor him being the next one with Andersen there?

    I think the Leafs will test the waters to see his value. IF they don’t get a good offer, they might hold on until the summer and package him to fill holes that might be more apparent once others leave.

    • Oh Please do not get me wrong with Freddie..he is the Vezina winner this year IMO hands down!

      Freddie is a bit overworked thsi year and will not go into another season looking at 70 plus games ..while Curtis has been good they need an upgrade there as a back up who can play 20 games and win 75% of those or gosh forbid they nneed a tendy to do more due to injury!

      Id say Pickard has more value on the market due to his NHL experience ..but Sparks should be the goaltender who backs up Freddie IMO next year!
      Sparks is very underrated and is style is built for the NHL

      I really hope the Leafs do not do something stupid …ad ruin the chemistry that they have right now…and into the playoffs.

  16. Leafs should look to trade JVR and get back a young prospect if they can. He’s huge for the team, but i think Leivo would be more than willing to step in and stand in front of the net to clean up some of the pucks in his place. JVR fits well in the Ducks line-up.

    TO ANH
    JVR-Soshnikov-2nd Rd Pick

    TO TOR
    Sam Steel-Max Jones

    Leafs new line-up:


    I think we could even switch the 4th and 3rd lines next year in terms of value/speed.

    • You’re going to get the Ducks best 2 prospects for a guy who’s going to be UFA this summer and a vanilla, bottom 6 player? Wow leaf fans……:…

  17. I don’t see where the Islanders are supposed to get this #1 goalie… Detroit was the team who blew the 3-0 lead to lose 7-6 in OT after Islanders got the 6-5 lead… So can’t imagine those goalies are going to attract them. Maybe they can get the SEnators washed up starting goalie? PRoblem is Greiss is like a 3.33M salary so that is pretty pricey for a backup who isn’t better than Darcy Kuemper on Kings for example :).

    Senators GM should win an award if he finds anybody dumb enough to take Bobby Ryan or his contract :). He would need naked photos or some sorta blackmail to get that deal done for sure ;). Islanders fans have these Snow Must Go billboard so Anders Lee is defending him… Try not letting up goals in the final minute of the game… Maybe score some goals to win a damn game or lose in OT not regulation :).

    Can’t wait to see who gets moved over the next 10 days or so… I’ve been saying for a while Vrbata will probably get traded… Maybe the Kings will get him now that the moved Gaborik he can play a top 9 role still probably. Trevor Lewis I think is hurt though not sure how serious… So missing Shore too could mean they do something. Mersch was called up who was promising in the AHL a few years go making All Star game having decent offensive numbers and size.

    Islanders goalies just need to stop choking w/ a minute left in games. They seem to letup a lot of goals when team pulls the goalie… If they still had Grabner he would have least 5-10 ENGs to lock down their wins by now :). Wasn’t Holden the guy who was out of hockey for a while… Seems like a bonus for anybody who moves him for assets :). Short of King Henrik going to Islanders I don’t see a real so called #1 goalie on market. Jimmy HOward? Mrazek? Andersson? Least Lehner or Raanta are used to being behind crappy teams with sub par defense and forwards :).

    • I concur Daoloth, there aren’t a lot of #1 goalies floating around. THey have a potential one already is Sarokin but not clear when he leaves Russia. Perhaps they take a run at someone’s back up (Dell, Corposalo…) in the off season.

      What they really need is to have their D get better. Pullock, Pelech, Aho, and Mayfield are all still really young. Losing Hamonic, De Haan, and for long stretches Boychuck this year has really hurt them. They resigned Greiss because he looked solid behind last years D, not this year. They will get better with experience and have some significant depth as well.

      • Yeah I never count on players coming from KHL until they are already here :). Kings had a few players who went there that never saw. Islanders I think have Kristers that Latvian goalie who was in net in the 2-1 loss to Canada last Olympics… They traded to get him from TAmpa even he would be an upgrade over Greiss :). Dell I think is too small, also he is on a better team in Sharks. They got a Norris winning D-man in Burns, then Vlasic, Braun, DeMelo, Heed, worst probably there is Dillon. Islanders Leddy might be good on offense but on Chicago he was a weakness or defensive liability when played Kings. Even their forwards I seen have issues like Beauviller or whatever seen him do an awful giveaway in own zone. I don’t remember if other team scored but they should have :).

        Least they got Boychuk back, de Haan I think one season he was only D-man who played ever game or something if remember right. Greiss is a liability this year though his save percentage is like .885 with no shutouts. Only Lagace is worse from VEgas who was in the .870’s. Would be funny if they got Dell though since Greiss was a backup for Sharks too I think along with Coyotes if remember right. He gave all he could though but it wasn’t enough.

        Maybe they should try to move Greiss to upgrade their backup. If they can get 5-10 starts from a backup that are competitive they might make playoffs. Halak is being overworked, so he is faltering from fatigue. Usually he would struggle in post season like Budaj. NYI are just too inconsistent they shut out Rangers 3-0 tonight beat them like 7-1 another night… Beat Vegas on the road like 2-1 or 3-1 whatever it was for only their 4th loss at home all year. Though they always had Fleury’s number, last time I think Penguins used another goalie in playoffs to beat them. Even Niemi is having a better year than Greiss since going to Montreal :).

    • Keep in mind, 4 of those goals were scored on a ridiculous 5 minute power play. Mrazek or Howard is an upgrade for the NYI

      • I saw that Detroit game when Islanders pulled Greiss… So Halak showed he was a better goalie than Mrazek coming into a lost game… IT was 5-1 the Islanders only had a 5-4 PP it wasn’t like 5-3 or anything. HE didn’t look good letting up 4 goals in a row in short time. LEts give him a pass on that, he still lost the game after his team tied it 6-6 to send it into OT.

        Halak is coming off a 50 save shutout of Rangers while Howard has none all year in like 42 games. So I don’t think either of them would be an upgrade over Halak. Though if they could move Greiss for one it would be an upgrade to their backup. Least Mrazek has 3 shutouts with a save percentage over .900… While Greiss is like .885 a total liability. It might be enough to make playoffs if they can upgrade their backup from within or via trade.

        Halak I think has a better track record than HOward/Mrazek over multiple teams. He is being over worked this season since Greiss is a liability. HE still managed 10 wins w/ his awful stats though. Only Lagace on Vegas has been worse having a save percentage in the .870’s.

        I’m not sure Islanders want to make playoffs though. Maybe they want two draft lottery selections if Flames miss out. Though awful trade Kings made I think takes them out of post season… Gaborik already has a goal/assist while Kings back to playing 4-5 left shot D-men. I’ll take Mrazek if it lets Islanders flip Greiss though :). Even if either of them were an upgrade over Halak it wouldn’t be enough to matter or win anything. Certain goalies just can’t play in NY like HExtall had a rough ride here and Osgood ;).

      • BTW DTzak I think Grubaur from Capitals might be a better option than the Detroit goalies if Islanders get one before deadline. He might have more upside as a starter than those guys currently do too. Also made a typo I think Halak went in that Detroit game down 5-2 winning 7-6 in OT over Mrazek who gave up all 7 goals so :).

      • The defense in front of Howard/Mrazek is a big part of the reason for games like those. What Howard has done the past 2 seasons with that D in front is pretty damn amazing. We can agree to disagree, but my opinion is that both Howard/Mrazek are better than Halak or Greiss. But we all know about opinions.

  18. Ottawa is making big mistakes if they are looking to trade Hoffman and Karlson ….. Brassard should be traded only when L.Brown is ready for NHL and Ryan should be gone asap and hold 50 percent … He is not worth the money and is always injured…. Ottawa again isn’t a bad team i wouldn’t trade my offence and without Hoffman and Karlson this team has no offence …. Montreal same boat stop looking to trade Patches and Galgenyuk what they need to do is finish as low as possible and make trades with teams like Arizona that are trading young players like Domi…. Only way I trade Pacthes with something else is if I’m getting A Centre and something else … Examples Barkov, or Domi and Strome plus 1st…… Drislati, or RNH plus Pajurrvi or J.Stall and skinner plus 1st next year or JH sang, K.Bellows, beauleviller, Jost, ottawas 1st and Col 1st next year

    • I read on TSN that Hoffman for RNH is being talked about. The article goes on saying how it benefits both teams. I do not see how that works for OTT….UNLES Brassard was being traded for a definitive top 6 winger like Hoffman (which they already have).

      IF Brassard went to a team in need of a #2C, for a solid young top 6 winger then the RNH for Hoffman will not hurt them. It would give OTT 2 young centers but sadly a young Hoffman gone replaced by an old injury riddled Gabby and injury riddled Bobby Ryan. Stone would be their only legit top 6 winger.

      Tons to think about. I, for one, would do Hoffman for RNh is Brassard brought back young top 6 legit winger then in the offseason shop Karlsson for a ransom and get a deeper team.

    • Frank
      Montreal hasn’t been able to find a legit centre for years. Now you think someone is going to toss them one for Patches? If they could have done that it would have already happened. Scoring wingers just don’t seem to have the same value that centres have.

      • How about a 3 team trade??

        to MTL: Brassard & JGP

        to EDM: Patches & Plekanec

        to OTT: RNH & 1st rd pick from EDM

        MTL gets 2 centers and can slot Gally with JGP and Drouin with Brassard

        EDM gets a winger for McDavid with another yr on his contract

        OTT gets a #2 center for the future and a pick back

        IMO fair trade to me for all teams. A real hockey trade that works under their caps

      • What team gets Smith though?

      • Ihate, do you hate Edm to? I can’t see them giving up RNH for patches straight up let alone sending the potential #1 pick in this years draft. I can’t stand the Oilers and the hype they tend to generate and I still can’t see them making the deal you propose here.

      • IH Crosby, your scenario works for OTT & MTL, but EDM loses big time.
        RNH, who is 25 and signed for 3 more years, plus a 1st for a winger with only a year left and a thow in pending UFA who is 35?
        Not sure how this helps EDM who isn’t going to the playoffs.
        Can RNH be traded? Yep they are deep at center but is will be for a quality, young NHL player with term. My guess is it will be for top 4 on the blue line, and they look for help in the UFA market for a short term cheap fix on LW until they can draft some help.
        The problem with the Oil is the same as it has been for over a decade. Other than their 1st rd picks (and even some of those) they have no good young prospects that are cost effective and NHL quality.
        Name one forward that they have in the AHL that will be an NHL player.
        You can’t, and that is a serious problem.
        They need to draft and develop better or they will never have sustained success.
        Trading quality young players and picks for 31 year old wingers with a year left will just add to the problem.
        My rant for the day from Edmonton.

      • RayB & Styx….fair response. Age and contract length. SO perhaps a 2nd from MTL and they get something additional from MTL instead of Pleks. A good prospect perhaps? Then a pick back from OTT or prospect.

        I was just suggesting some base players that may benefit all teams. I do think Patches alongside McDavid helps.

        How would u both revise the trade that uses these players as the primary starting point?

        I think Patches is worth a 1st rd pick soI suppose more would have to come back for RNH from OTT’s side or MTL side or some forms from both.

      • RayBark…I suggested Patches bc they traded Hall away. The fans do not want to go thru another Hall/Eberle/RNH decade of sitting at the bottom. Patches is a legit 30 goal scorer. The last 4 seasons he did without a top line center. Imagine with MCD. He goes in the corners, in front of the net, great hands and can skate. He is only 29 and signed for 1 more year. He would obviously resign for good value to play next to captain McDavid. I would argue Patches would score 40 EASILY next to McDavid. Again a LEGIT top #1LW EDM has been begging for. Again he has scored 30 the last 4 years on his own. This trade (with tweaks obviously) will do that. They cannot HOPE to find another player in the draft and HOPE it pans out. They would definitely get it in Patches.

        Perhaps Dzingel goes to EDM in this trade proposal to play 2nd line. Or Zack Smith to solidify the #3C spot

      • STYX apologies…I was suggesting a 1st rd pick…did not mean this year. I should have clarified. It could be a 2019 or 2020. Just a platform idea.

      • Ihatecrosby, agree 100% that Patches would be great on Mcdavid’s wing.
        In the off season if MTL allowed them to talk and they could agree to a reasonable contract?
        That would change things.
        Could the Oil throw in Lucic?

      • RAY BARK……well Patches would be coming from OTT bc OTT gave Brasard & JGP in my trade proposal. They need centers with Plekanec over 35 and a UFA. I suggested brassard and JGP to cover that. Patches goes back to OTT for those 2 players.

        OTT then sends Patches to EDM for RNH. If you want to also give Lucic AND RNH for Patches….is not that overwhelming overpayment? I think Patches is more than enough for RNH BUT as a EDM fan (I presume) OTT can throw in something but the idea is to give everyone something they need. Dzingel can go to EDM since the 1st is coming to OTT.

        EDM can have Leon D play #2C then with Puljarvi….and MCD with Patches

        OTT gets Duchene with Hoffman/Gabby and then RNH with Stone/Ryan

        MTL gets Brassard with Drouin and JGP as the 2C with Gally.

        Cap fits for everyone

        again not sure how Lucic would fit unless Bobby Ryan is going to EDM also with no $$ retained on Ryan or Lucic.

      • IHC, I was kidding about Lucic, sort of. I am a Bruins fan, just live in EDM now.
        I wouldn’t trade RNH for Patches straight up from an EDM perspective unless a reasonable contract can be worked out prior. Which won’t happen as I would guess Patches will test the market unless he gets paid more than he is worth.

  19. TO needs to stay out of the rental market. Arizona can also keep Hjalmarson and Domi. They need to set most of their roster for next year. The key is a top four right dman. With Dermott they have three top four guys so look at something radical like moving Gardner plus for Trouba, Dumba, Risto or even Carlo. Then Hainsey goes to the third pair to mentor Borgmann or Rosen.

    For Center move Bozak for someone like a Jenner, Letescu type and move Komo to fourth line center. Leivo and/or Soshnikov can be part of these deals. Next year Komo comes back at a reduced fourth line wage and JVR gets a front-loaded 6-7 million average cap hit contract.

    Going forward the team is going for experience to be real contenders. It also means Liljigren or Johnson might force them self into the line up. Nice problem to have.

  20. This is not the Isles year. They are simply too weak on D and in net right now. Unfortunately this may well impact JT’s decision about where to sign.

    If I’m the Isles I start thinking now about how to fix this for next year. Pieces like Hickey, Seidenberg, Quinne, and Prince should be floated to see what they will fetch.

    Inquiries should be made about upgrades on defence. I’d be asking about elite D men that I could move assets to acquire. I’d be willing to move one of our young D men, forward prospects, and picks for the right guy. Halak is gone in the offseason so I’d be looking to upgrade in net, either through one of our own prospects, free agency, or by trade.

    • Halak pulled out a gem having the 50 save shutout against Rangers tonight… Islanders need to upgrade their backup I think to make playoffs… Even if they promote KRisters or trade for Mrazek or so… EVen Pickard might have been an upgrade over what Greiss has done w/ his .885 save percentage ;).

      Either way its going to be close… Carolina lost a tough game against Devils tonight. Islanders get a clutch 3-0 win over Rangers when its most needed. CBJ I don’t really think will make it, maybe Flyers will fade. Looks like Penguins will have enough to get in there. I think part of problem is Halak is overworked so is tired. Just from all the injuries on D or issues they have playing D… EVen the Islanders forwards like Beuviller or whatever have had some awful giveaways etc.

      If Islanders would just stop blowing leads in final minute of games or lose some in OT instead of regulation it will be enough to get into playoffs. Then anything can happen from injuries to key players to a guy getting hot. Right now I Think NYI has a better shot to make post season than LAK.

  21. Soshkinov to STL for a fourth round pick.


  22. Maybe Islanders can afford to get Al Montoya from Oilers for some insurance in net. Least if Halak leaves they would have Greiss under contract along with Montoya :). His numbers are not that great though… His Save Percentage is below .880 but least his GAA is only 3.23 compared to Greiss being over 4.00. He only played in like 9 games but has a winning record so that is something :). Figure could get him for like a 6th/7th round pick or maybe a player if not a 5th at worse probably :).