NHL Rumor Mill – February 8, 2018

by | Feb 8, 2018 | Rumors | 76 comments

Latest on the Rangers, Leafs, Blue Jackets, Islanders, Bruins, Flames, Wild and more in your NHL rumor mill.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman once again brought up the possibility of New York Rangers winger Rick Nash widening his list of preferred trade destinations if a team not on his list makes a competitive offer to the Blueshirts. He also wouldn’t be surprised if Nash and fellow UFA Michael Grabner returned to the Rangers this summer. He also sees the Boston Bruins being in on Grabner and perhaps defenseman Nick Holden for depth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as the asking price for Grabner isn’t a high pick or top prospect (see below), the Bruins could consider adding Grabner. 

Friedman also repeated that trade speculation regarding Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly was shot down. Depending on what the Minnesota Wild do, he wouldn’t be surprised if the Pittsburgh Penguins try to bring back center Matt Cullen.

“Trade that might make sense only to me: something around Justin Faulk from Carolina to Detroit for Andreas Athanasiou.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not sure if the Wings would do that deal. Despite Athanasiou’s ill-advised contract holdout last summer, the Wings apparently still see him as a key piece of their rebuilding plan. Faulk’s performance, meanwhile, has noticeably declined this season. 

Could Columbus Blue Jackets winger Boone Jenner become a trade candidate? (Photo via NHL Images)

Friedman’s also keeping an eye on Chicago’s Brandon Saad, Columbus’ Boone Jenner and Arizona’s Tobias Rieder. The three forwards are struggling this season. Jenner and Rieder are also restricted free agents this summer with arbitration rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline (see below) also noted Jenner’s decline this season and guesses the Jackets might be willing to part with him to land a forward such as Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman. I don’t think the Blackhawks are keen to move Saad, as he’s still a young player (25) with size and two-way skills. Rieder, on the other hand, could be on his way out if he and the Coyotes can’t work out a suitable contract to avoid arbitration. 

Friedman believes the Colorado Avalanche will retain defenseman Tyson Barrie unless someone “stuns them” with an offer of a forward. The Avs have some promising blueliners in their system but none are ready yet for full-time NHL duty.

It’s unlikely the Vancouver Canucks will get some clarity about the Sedins’ future by the trade deadline. The twins are due to become unrestricted free agents in July. They’re also attempting to re-sign defenseman Erik Gudbranson but it’ll be interesting to see if the two sides are on the same page. “Among those whose value they are testing: Ben Hutton and Anders Nilsson.”

The Toronto Maple Leafs are at the maximum 50 contracts. Forward Josh Leivo has requested a trade as he’s not seeing enough playing time in Toronto. Forward Nikita Soshnikov could also get moved as he’s no longer waiver exempt. The Leafs apparently seek “a higher-than-expected price for both players.” Friedman also thinks they could absorb part of winger Matt Martin’s salary to move him, saying they’ve checked with the New York Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders (see below) aren’t keen to part with high draft picks for rental players. Martin is signed through 2019-20 with a $2.5 million cap hit but Snow isn’t going to overpay to bring him back.  If the Leafs want a third or a fourth rounder for Martin, maybe Snow considers it. 

Former NHL forward Ilya Kovalchuk will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. If he decides to return to the NHL, it’s believed he’s eyeing New York.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: But will New York be eyeing him? That’s something we’ll have to wait until the summer to find out. 

LATEST ON THE WILD AND BLUE JACKETS

THE ATHLETIC:  In a recent mailbag segment, Aaron Portzline addressed some trade questions and speculation from Blue Jackets fans. He can see the Jackets having interest in Ottawa Senators speedy winger Mike Hoffman. Noting the decline in Boone Jenner’s play, he guesses the Jackets might be willing to part with him to land a forward such as Hoffman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jenner is a big, versatile forward but his production has eroded since his career-best 30-goal, 49-point effort in 2015-16. At 24, he still has upside and could improve if given more playing time as a top-six winger. Maybe the Sens could be enticed by his size, youth and all-around skills. Hoffman, however, has a 10-team no-trade list and the Jackets could be on it. 

Portzline also said the Jackets have dismissed a rumor claiming Brandon Dubinsky had requested a trade. He also doesn’t know if Columbus is on Rick Nash’s list of trade destinations but he’d be shocked if it wasn’t, pointing out the winger loves the city and still lives there. However, he isn’t sure if Nash is a fit with the Jackets, who need someone to “elevate the pace of play and crank up the passion.”

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher once again face big decisions with the trade deadline approaching. The Wild are jockeying for a playoff berth in the tough Central Division. Fletcher is averse to moving his 2018 first-round pick and lacks a second and a fourth in this year’s draft. Russo doesn’t see the Wild parting with Joel Eriksson Ek, Luke Kunin, Jordan Greenway or Kirill Kaprizov.

Russo noted there’s been trade chatter regarding forwards Charlie Coyle and Matt Cullen and defenseman Mike Reilly, plus the Wild have three third-round picks and some promising prospects. If the Wild can’t find a suitable short-term replacement from within for sidelined defenseman Jonas Brodin, perhaps Fletcher could be more in the market for a blueliner than a scoring winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher could also be wary of making another big deadline splash after giving up a 2017 first-round pick, a second rounder this year and a conditional pick next year to Arizona last season for playoff dud Martin Hanzal. I expect he’ll wait and see how his club performs over the next couple of weeks before deciding if he needs to make a move. 

FLAMES, ISLANDERS AND BRUINS RELUCTANT TO MOVE DRAFT PICKS

SPORTSNET: Calgary Flames president Brian Burke suggested his club’s need for a scoring winger could be addressed internally with the return of Kris Versteeg from hip surgery. He said his club won’t be parting with high draft picks for a rental player, noting they don’t have many picks in this year’s draft to spare. “We’re not going into [2019] picks … unless it’s an extraordinary circumstance.”

NEWSDAY: Steven Marcus reports New York Islanders GM Garth Snow reiterated he’s not moving center John Tavares at the trade deadline. The club’s intention remains re-signing their captain before his eligibility this summer for unrestricted free agent status.  He also said he’s unlikely to add players at the deadline if the cost is high draft picks. Snow acknowledged he’s carrying two first- and two second-round picks in the 2018 draft but is reluctant to part with them for rental players.

FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cites TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s appearance on NBCSN discussing possible moves by the surging Boston Bruins at the trade deadline. He believes the Bruins management and coaching staff would, in a perfect world, prefer adding a top-six or top-nine scoring winger, but he’s not sure they’re willing to part with draft picks and/or prospects for rental players if the asking prices remain high by the deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: None of this means the Flames, Islanders and Bruins won’t make any moves at the deadline, but it’s clear they’re unwilling to pay the big asking prices for this year’s top playoff rental players. If those prices come down, perhaps they’ll become more interested in acquiring such players. 

 








76 Comments

  1. Just because of the A.A. holdout doesn’t mean this guy is worthless..I think teams are salavating at trying to get this guy but they are not going to get him for a song and dance that’s for sure.
    I think he is a very good talent and the Wings need talent like his they should be looking at ways to keep him in the organization unless they are getting a talented forward back who has the same skill set and can contribute better ..this team needs more punch upfront not a mid range D man for one of the best prospects they have.

    Here is where I would pause if I was the Ottawa Senators …

    A package including:
    Athanasiou, Michael Rasmussen and Mrazek for Hoffman & Condon has my interest…good for both sides !

    Hoffman and Larkin could be deadly ..Wings need offence ..and Sens need that power forward and skill set…both goalies are good and need new scenery…just sayin!

    • this deal doesn’t happen unless Ottawa takes back a terrible contract like a Darren helm or they throw in Cody Ceci. Detroit is not parting with AA and Rasmus for a winger at this time. it would be more like AA and Helm for Ceci and Colin White which Ottawa won’t do so it’s not realistic.

      • buff you are on crack if you think Sens part with those guys. Hoffman is an established sniper. The guy has been playing with 3rd liners most of his career. Good luck with that fantasy

    • @Kal El
      this deal makes a tonne of sense. Don’t understand the lack of appreciation for Hoffman on Ottawas part.
      What would you think of a JVR- Jack Johnson swap…
      leafs then move a package that includes a Soshnikov or Leivo and Carrick type with a pick for Nash?
      Am I dreaming?

      • The only guys thinking of dealing Soshnikov are guys in the media. My feeling is the Leafs have no intention of dealing this guy unless we get a youngish guy that can help us right now. I don’t see anyone like that in terms of a deal for Soshnikov. I don’t think the Leafs are resigning any of our UFAs with the possible exception of Bozak. Which will open an opportunity for Soshnikov next year. I still think Leivo will be sitting in the press box most of the time regardless of where he plays – can you tell I’m not a fan?

        I don’t do JVR for Jack Johnson. NY doesn’t do Nash for Leivo and Carrick – I can’t see them doing that.

      • Sam, I doubt the NYR trade Nash for a collection of spare parts like that. They apparently want a 1st, plus a good prospect, plus a roster player. Not saying that’s what they will get but so far all you have in your offer is a roster player (Carrick), a healthy scratch (Leivo), and an as yet undefined pick.

      • JVR for Johnson is a bit of a loss for Toronto, as JVR is keeping his production up despite getting less and less ice time.

        Also if the net effect of all the moving is that Toronto loses JVR, Leivo and Carrick and adds Nash and Johnson, I don’t think they really improve a lot for the amount of pieces moving. Also, I don’t think the deal fits for NYR either, as if they are serious about a rebuild, they will want even younger assets than Leivo or Carrick.
        I do think the Leafs should strongly consider moving on from JVR and Komorov now, rather than letting them walk. The Leafs are pretty much pinned to a first round match up with Boston or Tampa. I don’t think they are at the point where you spend a lot on rentals to start getting deeper in the playoffs, so I think opening up the line up to see what you have longer term makes more sense. Get additional ice for Kapanen, and let Leivo and Soshnikov into the games. This team is making the playoffs either way, and likely in tough in the first round either way, so if they are letting JVR and Komorov walk anyway, just move on and start evaluating what your longer term lineup is going to look like now rather than going through that growing pain to start next year. It would also make it easier to evaluate what they may need in the offseason. I even think letting these guys showcase what they have to offer on a full-time basis might even provide a bit of a spark, and may not create as much of a step back as people would think. That’s not to say any of these guys can effectively replace JVR, but as a group they can likely soften the blow.

    • That’s a ridiculous trade proposal. The Wings would never do that.

      • Danny, I think the Leafs have an easier time letting Komarov go at this point, but with either of them, if the return isn’t there why bother. Lou is a smart guy, that’s a given. I can’t imagine discussions on dealing any of the three UFAs are not happening. But Lou will not deal if he doesn’t get what he wants or very close to it, remember how he handled Parenteau two years ago, he finished the season with the last place Leafs as a UFA.

  2. Grabner would be a nice pickup for the Bruins but it depends on the cost.

    • I’m on the fence as to whether i want the B’s to make any moves at all. But it all comes down to cost as you said. If Grabner can be had at a reasonable cost, then I say go for it.

      • I essentially agree. Cost is the issue.

        I would like an insurance forward & Dman but Grabner will be far to expensive. The other issue in play is you still have the 23 man roster limit until the regular season is over.

        If Bos takes on rentals at forward & D & everyone is healthy it’s a significant roster juggle to make it work. Bos can make the forward work but at D it would mean having to send Grzelcyk down as his riding the pine in the NHL makes no sense to his development & he has played surprising well.

        Bos has been milking McQuad’s & now Miller’s injuries to keep him in the line up.

      • Yep cost is the issue, and as Striker mentions you can make the room but where do you play him? Would be interested in the feedback.
        If you take him in you are moving one of the following wingers to the 4th line.
        Heinen, Backes, Spooner or Debrusk.
        Or Nash to 4C and move Spooner or Backes to 3C.
        I like what Nash brings a defensive center and not sure Backes can still skate at the pace required for that role. That line is providing secondary scoring as well so I like Nash in that role.
        I understand that you need some depth come playoff time, but they have guys they can call up that can play as well or add somebody on the cheap.
        It is unreasonable to expect they can keep up the current pace of the last couple months, and you have to expect some injuries. But with this team I would like to see the kids who are playing meaningful roles continue to do so.
        Would you give up a 2nd (not enough to get Grabner IMO) just to play him or Heinen, Debrusk or Nash on the 4th line?
        The B’s 4th line as is has played with a bunch of energy and is also delivering some scoring.
        If it ain’t broke…..

      • Bruins do not need to add a thing keep we’ll enough alone they are as hot as any team I’ve seen in a few years. Let your young guns develop they bring speed and skill and an abundance of enthusiasm.

  3. Kovalchuk can’t wait for Marc Bergevin to overpay him.

    Unless, the Isles lose Tavares and Snow wants to overpay him more. And if the Isles refuse to rent players for this spring, the odds of JT leaving tip to likely.

    Jenner for Hoffman is absurd. But Dorion did make the Duchene trade, so…yeah.

    The Sens shopping Hoffman makes zero sense. He’s a top sniper, young and signed for a long time. If there is an issue with the coach, see Marc Savard vs. Greg Gilbert for precedent.

    • Tavares resigns in NYI for 8 years at 11 mil give or take 500K just like Stamkos. He’ll listen to offers in the week leading up to July 1st but will stay in NYI happily.

      Of a far bigger concern than who NYI may add now or this summer to Tavares may be if Bailey will be retained & if his demands are extreme they may have no choice but to let him walk. Is Bailey the same player if he doesn’t play with Tavares?

      Would Bailey accept Ladd monies to stay? Bailey & Tavares have been glued at the hip now for 2 years & are 1 of the best tandems in the NHL.

      NYI has a very bright future. Good young players on the roster now, tons of elite prospects coming, many of their D prospects are learning on the fly but Aho has played great in his cameo & they have the best goalie prospect not playing in the NHL in Sorokin. Tons of picks, what’s not to like about NYI’s future. Give it 2 more years & this is a a cup contender.

      • I agree on Taveras. My feeling here is he will only talk to Toronto and then resign with NYI as the Leafs will not offer that kind of dough. It’s possible Canadian Tire gets involved as they did with Stamkos.

        Striker, the rumor I heard about why Stamkos didn’t sign in Toronto is as follows – The Leafs, fearfull of the blood clot that Stamkos suffered from in his contract year changed their minds and reduced their offer to a 5 year deal as opposed to 7 and Stamkos balked and took the Tampa deal the next day. Stamkos only spoke to Toronto before resigning with Tampa. It’s only a rumor as I wasn’t there 🙂

      • I think it’s buyer beware with Bailey, his 57pts this season is more then any other season, last season he had 56pts in 82 games 13 goals same as this season todate. His highest goal season is 15 in 14-15, is he a classic case of capitalizing on a ufa season, right line mate or late bloomer?
        How much of a financial risk and I don’t think I would want to do 7yrs at $5.5 average.

      • Trekie.

        No slight intended but I don’t buy any of that BS.

        Stankos spoke to a ton of teams as will Tavares. Why wouldn’t you I would, you have to at least see what’s out there have all options available before deciding & using it as leverage if necessary.

        I would be shocked to see Tavares walk as a UFA. Few teams can pay him 11 mil per, most that can aren’t cup contenders & far worse than where NYI is in their rebuild today.

        If Tavares decides to move on I assume Snow will move him to the team he wants to sign with allowing for the extra year contractually. Getting probably a 1st regardless & a prospect.

        I have the odds at 80/20 he stays & if he does leave NYI isn’t doomed. Barzal is a #1 C almost now. Nelson can plays as the #2, NYI spends the savings else where & like goes on. Just like when Suter hung Nashville out to dry.

        Ooops that was my inside voice. I hope Nashville wins a cup that would be good Karma for Suter & well earned.

      • Striker, agree on the Isles future, they have some really nice pieces in the pipeline and the potential to add more talent in the draft. I get the feeling from Bailey interviews and comments that he really wants to stay with the Isles. When asked about his breakout year he says it’s JT and Lee so perhaps his demands aren’t going to be outrageous.

        Apparently the Flames are willing to move Gillies, perhaps the Isles look at picking him up to protect themselves in case Sorokin decides to stay in the KHL a while longer.

      • I really hope he stays for that or less money… Though I think thanks to McDavid he will cost like 90-100M to stay for 8 years… It helps knowing the arena will be built but splitting games w/ Nassau/Brooklyn I think will make him want more money too… Still he probably will come at 12M so 96M or as high as 104M if he takes 13M… IF not for McDavid he probably would have taken same deal as Kopitar staying for 80M total…

        Bailey would probably do great just like PA Parentau or Moulson if he leaves NYI :). I don’t think he is worth more than 5 or 6M at most… Maybe they can get him to stay in the 4M range or structure it so final years buyout wouldn’t be that bad. They might move some of their D-men to help free up space depending.

        Its nice to see Franchise looking better than NYR. Islanders need to win to keep their revenue/fans so losing isn’t an option. I’m not crazy about their “Yes” chant to be honest though :). My biggest problems with Islanders is their laces on uniforms. I’d rather them replace the Rangers blue uniforms w/ the black NY non laced that I Think used for an outdoor game. I see people wear them at games often so they must be popular. They one of the few teams I like their white uniforms while hating their dark ones ;). They didn’t let teams wear 3rd or alternate jerseys this year so was not able to see them but was spared the ugly Kings alt uniforms :).

        What gets me is they give away free Fisherman ugly jerseys if buy certain ticket plans… Supposedly hipsters like those stupid uniforms but not any real Islanders fans dig them :). Their logo is really iconic/loved but I still prefer the black NY uniforms to be home over Rangers blue/Oilers blue :). That would have fit better when playing in Brooklyn if nothing else though.

        I don’t think the Islanders have the player or players in net to contend for a Cup. Halak is alright but he made like 18 saves on 22 shots vs. Buffalo to lose badly tonight… Their goalies seem more like backups unless Kristers or so that Latvian goalie is a real number 1 of future :). Even in their last real run Glenn Healy played better than he ever did in his life. HRudey was good for them but he had mono when Kings were in SCF. They not had a player like Bill Smith or a Quick who can steal a series or rise above since probably Luongo who they botched thanks to Milbury :).

  4. Toronto, Minnesota and Arizona are all at 50 contracts, they can only take on additional contract(s) if they have the same number going out.

    • Arizona won’t be bringing in more than are going out that’s for sure. Toronto and Minny will need to include other pieces secondary to the actual trade to make it happen, Toronto did this years ago when they traded for Grabner and sent 5 contracts the other way although that was before the start of the year.

      I don’t value Athanasiou as much as others seem to, contract hold out aside he looks like a solid 3rd liner.

    • Shuffling a warm body AHL contract is the norm in this situation. We often see players clear waivers & then get traded for a bag of pucks following simply to address the 50 contracts issue.

      Just not a factor really. Just a cross the T’s dot the I’s issue.

      • Shuffling to the AHL doesn’t solve it, they are still part of the 50 contracts.

      • You miss my point. Bring 2 players in, ship 2 players or more out. Just not an issue. No none of these teams can take on a contract as there at 50 but no big deal just not a factor.

        Tor moved 5 contracts out in the Grabner deal. You can always designate a player to Lupul/Robidas island. It’s not crowded yet.

    • Striker, I’m very certain Stamkos only spoke to the Leafs prior to signing in TB as he had no intention of playing anywhere else. That part of it is not rumor.

      If he did speak to other teams, a better offer then what he signed for would have been there for him. BTW – I don’t disagree with your logic, but it doesn’t apply all the time in all instances and it didn’t with Stamkos.

      • Stevie spoke to several other teams… whatchoo talking bout?

      • I don’t think STamkos pays the same taxes to play in Florida as say Canada… Even if he was getting paid more in Canada it would probably work out to less money in his pocket… Whether from taxes or say conversion rate though think they pay them in USD anyways… Lots of players seem to play of less money in states like Florida or Texas… Though I think the actual take home money or contract is better… Cost of living is another factor… To live in a state like California is a lot more costly than Florida or Texas… So players tend to want more money or get more to stay in those places. I’m sure any team in NHL would have offered STamkos more money than what he returned to play for. Kopitar got 80M for 10 years just to give an idea… He could have easily got 80M for 7 years giving his ability though his injury history probably was a concern.

    • Minnesota just freed up a roster spot. Shipping out 2 AHL players for 1.

  5. Carolina is not trading Faulk. Carolina is not very deep on the right side and Carolina likes to pair right and left handed D. The lack of depth on the right side was the reason they traded for TVR. If Carolina moves a defenseman it will be Fleury, Bean or Carrick.

    • I agree. Perhaps as he approaches UFA status in 2 years out. If unable to get him signed to an extension in the summer of 2019 Carolina will most likely entertain offers that summer as with expansion in the summer of 2020 Carolina won’t have the luxury they had this past summer where almost all their D were exempt in expansion.

      Faulk hasn’t played poorly. His shot rates icetime, quality of icetime etc. are all identical to past seasons his shooting % this season has dropped significantly but again not due to not shooting, they just aren’t going in.

      Teams don’t trade this quality of Dman unless confronted with no choice. Having 5 solid NHL Dman isn’t no choice, it’s a fabulous luxury to have but absolutely no rush.

      Nor do I share peoples opinions that they need forward help. Aho is 20, Lindholm 23, Teravainen 23, McGinn 24, Rask 24, their entire D just kids & 1 of the top 3 prospect pools in the NHL & a ton of cap space if Francis is ever allowed spend it. With new ownership those monies will be made available starting now.

      Stay the course. Next season will be year 5 of Francis’s rebuild, he has had to do it ob a shoe string budget & this team is right on the cusp of greatness. They just need to find a goalie or hope Darling is a revelation next season. This trade & signing is the only real blemish on Francis’s check list so far. He has drafted exceptional well & traded systematically moving his UFA’s out at every trade deadline & taking assets from cash strapped teams.

      • Striker, I agree with your comments. Faulk’s play has improved since the all star break.

        I expect Carolina to get another goalie this offseason. Maybe a goalie prospect at the deadline if they are out of it. I keep wondering if Dunden will want to go the RFA offer sheet route for a goalie. He wont have patience at the goalie position. Carolina’s scouts are throwing darts at the goalie position they need a new strategy.

        Aho will get valuable time at center if the Canes are eliminated. Im surprised Warren Foegele hasn’t been called up. Lots of good competition at forward next year.

      • I assume Car will sign a UFA veteran to share the load if necessary. I wouldn’t be surprised to just see them bring Ward back, other options as UFA’s this summer Halak, Lehtonen, Bernier, Johnson, Pavelic, Khudoboin, Hutton, Raanta, etc. I also assume Mrazek won’t be qualified by Det making him a UFA.

        The goalie market in the summer is flooded, by the time everyone waives for opening day or shortly there after to get to the 23 man roster goalies move rarely.

        Carolina has to give Darling at least 1 more shot next season with a veteran insurance option in place & hope they didn’t drop the ball on this signing. If they did then a long term solution needs to be found & they don’t have an obvious 1 coming.

        Their young goalies in the system are Nedeljkovic, Booth, LaFontaine & Makiniemi. None of them are even remotely close to even being NHL back ups. It’s the 1 serious hole currently but by far the easiest to fill & with expansion a little over 2 years away a long term solution shouldn’t be hard to find in the summer of 2019 leading up to the next expansion draft.

      • Carolina put Kruger and Jooris on waivers.

  6. Ottawa has 4 ufa’s this season and 9 next, that ties Vegas at 13 for the most ufa’s over the next two season. That’s a lot.

    • It’s not a quantity issue for me but quality. Vegas losing some of there’s was the original plan, we all assumed that Neal, Perron & Sbisa would move at the or near the trade deadline for something. That’s not happening now. McNabb, Englelland & Marchesseault have all been extended. I assume Vgs might like to keep Neal & Perron but only if they accept reasonable contracts & room needs to be made for a few of Vegas’s 1st round picks acquired last season.

      I see both Schmidt & Fleury extended on July 1st.

      As for Ott it’s a mess both by quantity & quality. I don’t see why Karlsson, Brassard or Duchene would want to stay never mind any of the others. All will get significant monies as UFA’s & I don’t see any taking any form of discount to stay in Ott. Melnyk is thrifty & if Karlsson can be convinced to stay for 8 years at 11+ mil on an 8 year deal then monies will be removed else where to pay such. Until Ott gets a new building & the associated revenue stream, things look pretty bleak in the Nations capital.

  7. Tavares plays in front of 11,000 fans a game only 75% of the building capacity…I hope he moves on to another team. That team scores a lot of goals and no on goes to the games. Lowest attendance in entire league. Yes, I do know they have a small building but still that place should be sold out.

    • have to ask this question and will draw fire for it…but this season aside, is JT really an elite centreman. By that I mean he will get around 11 mill a season.. has he lifted his team thus far? And I get it the isles haven’t always put players around him..but I would be leary- just not sold..

      • The NHL isn’t like Basketball or to a lesser extent baseball where a player can dominate the game & carry his team or an even lesser still like Football. It’s truly a team sport. 1 or 2 players can’t carry the team but he can carry players making them better. To be a good NHL team, a cup contender, you need a core of 8 solid players, of which at least 2 need to be stud Dman, 2 superstar forwards & an above average goalie. The other 3 need to be winners, players that help in a multitude of ways & for what ever just win.

        Tavares has made a ton of players far better than they are & played on numerous teams that had limited talent making it very easy for other teams to target him limiting his abilities statistically.

        The NHL business model pays based on points & if you win cups that gets you some serious bumps in salary almost regardless of such. We talk about it constantly. So & so gets paid to much money after so & so wins a cup.

        I guess it depends on what your criteria is. What has McDavid accomplished? His team has won what? He has 1 scoring title, a few awards but won what to earn a 12.5 mil per 8 year deal kicking in next season? That’s 2 mil more per season in cap hit than any other player in the NHL. Is McDavid worth more to Edm than Tavares is to NYI?

        Really he isn’t & that contract but worse Draisaitl’s is bumping every superstars salary’s up moving forward unfortunately. Incredibly inflationary. Would you prefer McDavid at 12.5 or Bergeron & Marchand at 13.541666? How about Scheifele at 6.125 or McKinnon at 6.3. How does Draisaitl demand more than these 2 players & Chiarelli actually agrees to pay it?

        This is the world of stupidity in the NHL salary structure. I’m with Kal El, Poille is & has been the best manager of the cap his entire time in Nashville. I’m not paying out these sorts of monies to any one player as it’s a handcuff down the road a boat anchor. Fair market value no NHL record setting deals.

        To be a really good NHL team today you need to have at least 3 scoring lines. If 2 players are making 21 mil good luck.

      • Sam, the answer to your question will be there in the summer if Tavares doesn’t re-sign with the Islanders. Pretty sure there will be many, many teams willing to make the big offer to him. Not only does he have the size and skill, he is a driven competitor. I think he’s the real deal; in the right situation, he could be the star on a Stanley Cup franchise.

      • Striker ,
        It’s always you with the stance “different cap worlds” , When discussing Crosby / Mcdavid . Why doesn’t that stand up here ? What do the contracts of any of the names you listed look like after Mcdavid signed? ( coming off a season in which he won every major award , took the oilers to the 2nd round, at age 21 and accepted as the next generational talent ) . It is events like this that change the cap world . How does pete not pay what’s asked ? I know you would let Mcdavid walk , but no gm currently employed by a team , would be in that situation.

      • I would never let McDavid walk. Are you drunk.

        I wouldn’t have rushed out to sign his extension a year early. I would have used the leverage available to me under the CBA & rebuked his agents claim about Crosby’s cap hit % when he signed his last contract, his 3rd NHL contract not his 2nd, after having already played 7 years in the league at point of signing, 8th year by the time it kicked in.

        That contract amortised over 12 years & he took a home town discount to boot, different cap world, 2 Stanley Cup appearances 1 cup victory, the 2nd round once before signing 2 before it kicked in, rookie of the year & a multitude of NHL awards in those 7 years before signing that contract or ago before it kicked in a year later.

        McDavid is the 2nd best player in the world today, he should be the 1st but has yet to win anything really & until he does he will always be the 2nd best until Crosby hangs them up. Did he deserve to be the highest paid player in the NHL? Sure 10.6 would have accomplished that.

      • Waiting an extra year , another scoring title , and being exposed to offer sheets , you think this brings the 12.5 closer to 10. 6 how ? Do you think Lou waits that year with Mathews ? Or other gm with there “Mcdavid or Mathews ? You have stated many times , karllson for example, that you wouldn’t pay anyone these type of monies . Mcdavid being the 2nd best player and coming off his season , at his age and trajectory , how is that conversation going to bring the number closer to 10.6 ? As an agent I wait and next year that 12.5 could be 15% of a larger cap .

      • As an Isles fan I’ve watched JT play a remarkable brand of hockey for years now. Even when the two highest paid players were Alexi Yashin and Rick Dipietro who were no longer on the team. He’s routinely selected for Team Canada and made Matt Molson, Okposo, and PA Parenteau a lot of money. He’s not as flashy as some of the other guys but is still an elite player.

        With the emergence of Barzel and the second line, JT’s line is racking up more points because teams can’t just focus on him anymore.

      • Craig.

        You can’t compare a player coming out of his 1st contract; ELC, as an RFA with no arbitration rights to a player that will be 29 coming out of his as a UFA.

        McDavid wouldn’t be eligible for an offer sheet. Edm qualifies him in the summer after his last season on his ELC, even if he declines he still isn’t eligible to an offer sheet. The current CBA doesn’t allow for such.

        I’d suggest you learn the rules before jumping in the deep end. Ha-ha!

      • Even if he declines , which I didn’t know , your right , again how does another years sample going to lower that number down to 10.6 ? He isn’t signing a qualifying offer and then what does the number look like ? Why wouldn’t Mcdavid be eligible for an offer sheet like draisaitl was ? What option does pete have when that qualifying offer is declined ? And again what does the conversation go like today to get that number to 10.6 ?

      • Draisaitl wasn’t eligible to an offer sheet either unless Edm didn’t qualify him which I don’t believe happened. No GM is making that mistake. Players aren’t eligible to player arbitration until they acquire arbitration rights. The only way a player could be eligible to an offer sheet coming out of his ELC is if his team doesn’t extend him a qualifying offer.

        It didn’t have to be 10.6. That was an example of what would make him the highest paid player.

        I would have waited until McDavid played out his 3 year ELC. Then I would have made the qualifying offer, 925K + a 10% raise. McDavid would have declined & contract negotiations would have been ongoing for a very long time. I would have made McDavid the highest paid player but not at 12.5 20% higher than any player currently signed or since signed to date in the NHL.

        That makes no sense to me. I would have offered him 8 years at 11 & settled on 11.5 making him hold out if necessary.

        The worst thing to happen to Edm was everything going right last season & giving everyone false hope about where Edm was in this rebuild.

        Did you expect Edm to even make the playoffs last season? If you did you were in a very low minority. I took seriously flack here for claiming they would & I don’t remember you supporting my assumption.

        I can’t explain what is going on in Edm. The weren’t as good as they showed last season & aren’t as bad as they are playing this season but they look lost defensively, embarrassingly so & their PK needs to be changed up. It’s flawed but they just keep rolling it out.

        For what it’s worth I had Edm to just beat out Cal for the Pacific with Anh nipping at thier heels. Had Anh been healthy I would have had them 1st but no Kesler, Lindholm & Vatanen what was assumed to be late No for the 2 Dman & Dec Kesler was an issue for me.

        This isn’t meant to slight McDavid in any way. But he isn’t worth this much today or even in the next few seasons based on what his peers, potential comparables are making & that 21 mil is going to cause serious issues flushing out this roster down the road.

      • I want no part of a hostile negotiation with Mcdavid . I certainly did support that Edmonton would make the playoffs last year . I also didn’t have them improving on last season but most certainly had them in the mix for the division . How many games have you watched ? The defence , 5v5 hasn’t been close to embarrassingly bad , they are a positive 5v5 team . The special teams has been horrid , but has been changed recently . With letestu off both units and Mcdavid off the half wall on the pp as the biggest positive changes . The d has been injured off and on all year , klefbom , Larsson and has really compounded the loss of sekera . And the .897 sabe percentage is the biggest flaw to the d , and a major one to the pk . I agree they are in between not as good as last year and not as bad as this year . But the cap situation is not near as dire as ppl like to think . I’ve explained in detail on here before .

      • Striker ,
        Are you sure you know what your talking about ?
        If Chiarelli didn’t have draisaitl signed by July 1 , by any report I can find , he would have been exposed to an offer sheet . I find it unbelievable that either chiarelli or any gm would “forget” to qualify if that’s all it took to fend off an offer sheet . And if that happened the media would have been all over it . Which leads me to believe I had it right , if pete waits and offers a qualifying offer , he has until July 1 to sign him , or he is eligible to receive an offer sheet , which would be the same boat Mcdavid would be in if pete waited an extra year . Which leads me back to my question , are you sure you have it right ? Or what am I missing ?

    • They also have 1 of the best cable packages in the NHL, part of playing in the largest market in the US & the primary reason they aren’t losing buckets of money. A new building is coming. It should be ready for use right after the next lockout following the 2020-21 season.

      At least NYI has an excuse for attendance. The move to Brooklyn left their fan base on Long Island, they play in a building that isn’t designed even remotely for hockey, some seats can’t see the entire ice surface, others are obstructed by the scoreboard & they aren’t staying in Brooklyn alienating some of that potential fan base.

      It was simply a short term solution for a team with out a building. That problem is now solved.

      Next season 12 of their 41 home dates will be played in the Barn on Long Island that # increasing until the new building is completed at Belmont Park.

      • Striker, I believe the Barcleys centre also pays them a substantial amount regardless of attendance. Financially the club seems on solid footing. I’m just hoping they get the ice right in the new building.

      • That is correct.

      • Barclays is not that good in about 25% of the seats where the view is blocked. Good to see some games at the barn for real Long Islanders who live out east. Brooklyn is like 2 hrs away from many Islander fans ironically when they are in Brooklyn.

    • That is only because Brooklyn is a dangerous place to venture at night… The arena was made only for basketball having bad LOS for NHL games… YOu can see it on TV where you keep seeing that stupid car for example. When Islanders move to new Arena they will be selling it out… Even the games they play at Nassau Coliseum will be drawing 14K or whatever the new limit will be…

      NHL shafted Islanders moving them to Brooklyn to block KHL… They had KHL preseason games set to be played there before the move was done… Then when they made the decision it was decided not to play those games anymore for legal reasons or whatever. So just like they made the Islanders in first place to block a rival hockey league at the time they used them again to block KHL… Other rival league had teams like Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, I think they were called WHA or WHL something like that. Like they had the LA Sharks who I guess LA Kings were created to help put that on the skids I don’t know haha :).

      Nobody wants to see a game in Barclays center the ice is bad too… You ever seen a hockey game where the arena was made just for crappy basketball to understand why people don’t go? Also they probably have more than 11K fans there, unlike Senators who couldn’t even sell out playoff games 1 win away from SCF :).

  8. Snow better get creative. I agree injuries have killed this team, especially on D. The goalies have been put under siege and they haven’t performed well. But a strong argument can be made that Snow didn’t upgrade a thin D especially after trading Hamonic. They sat Pulock for long stretches especially until the injuries occurred. Pelech and Mayfield avg and now Mayfield is out for a month. Boychuk has been in decline since he signed here and is injury prone. Aho is a kid. Hickey and Seidenberg won’t be retained. CDH is a ??. He needed to get a top 3 dman. Now he isn’t going to trade picks. Not a strong sign to get JT back when year after year they find a way to just miss.

    • NYI protected 5 Dman in expansion & paid Vgs to avoid de Haan. You can’t lose your #2 Boychuk & #3 de Haan & expect to compete. NYI has done so regardless. This is a testament to the D Snow has built & these young kids.

      No harder position to fill & NYI will be well served long term with these choices.

      I didn’t have NYI to make the playoffs. I expected them to compete right down to the wire just coming up short but I expected them to do that with Boychuk & de Haan. With out them I would have assumed all hope lost & dropping rapidly.

      They have hing in there & found a way to stay in the race. It’s really quite amazing as the plan called for sheltered roles for all these kids sharing ice time with Hickey & Seidenberg, none were expected to play this many games nor this many minutes this quickly.

    • Hey NK, Snow can be frustrating but I think he’s actually positioned the Isles well for the future. All these young D coming up and not completely crapping the bed (just kinda crapping the bed) is a very good sign. The isles are also well positioned with assets if they wanted to pursue someone like Karlson or OEL. No guarantee they would get either but they could put together a very attractive package for either.

      This isn’t, and never was, the year they were going to win a cup or even go deep. They still need development from all of the kids. They have made some nice strides though. The emergence of Barzel, they play of Bouvilier and the young D. There is plenty of room for hope here.

  9. & teams start prepping for the trade deadline. Good news IhateCrosby. Smith has been waived he isn’t getting selected. Carolina has also waived Kruger & Jooris.

    & so it begins. Teams start opening up roster spot options on their 23 man rosters.

    • Striker how about Smith for Kruger & Dahlbeck… =) LOL

      Kruger slots #3C for NYR next year giving Lias another year in HFD. Means we do not have to resign Desharnais (mess)

      For CAR well Smith can slot #6/7D

      Faulk/Hanafin/Slavin/Fluery/Pesce then Smith in case they want to use TVR as a package with Darling for a goalie.

      =) lol

      • Ha-ha! I admire your commitment to the cause. Don’t lose hope.

      • Ihatecrosby,
        Did you see the open letter from Sather and Gorton?

        Full scale rip down is here.

      • NYR4life…I did. I admire they finally understand we are good but not built for a cup run in the next 3 years so to retool for speed and COMMITMENT is going to be key. Watching Hank look like he was going to cry after getting pulled shows me EXACTLY why he should be untouchable. That guy carried lesser Ranger teams far and covered their lapses. He has been off the last month and Gorts and AV finally see the roster cannot carry Hank so it needs to be adjusted.

        Hayes is a #3C
        Zib is only a #2C not even a poor 1A
        The Defense cannot skate and Mac has to carry too much and therefore it looks like he is playing both D sides at the same time….he is mentally burnt.
        Money committed to players who do not compete is not a good sign for a team that says they want to do the right thing.

        Trade Nash, Desharnais, Grabner, Holden, Kampfer, Smith first.
        To me Zib needs a playmaking winger so he can get back to shooting. He does not play a playmaking and shooting center well hence why i value him at a #2C. Zucc should be on his right side to alleviate that.

        I rather trade Kreider and keep Zucc for the type of game he brings. Kreider is fast but not a possession driver. He is a younger version of Nash. All perimeter and he cannot take over a game himself. Get max value for Kreider now this summer. If not for the stretch pass and speed he becomes invisible on the ice. Zucc drives possession and is by far a better passer. Better leader for younger guys coming in. IMO

        I read some article where it was reported they would resign Nash and Grabner int e offseason. NO THANK YOU. Love those guys but I need consistency on my team. I cannot go forward with $4m per player where they just are not there when I really need them. I will miss PK Grabner but oh well.

        Free up a 3rd line spot to put Miller back down to #3LW along side #3C Hayes and a young RW who likes to shoot the fdamn puck and forecheck ALL GAME ALL SEASON.

        Move Vesey to #4LW and Fast to #4RW and find a scoring 4th line center who does more than just win face-offs.

        MacTruck needs to be kept as the #1LD and they need to find him a stay at home right handed partner that is cost controlled. Can skate and throw checks when needed. Can skate is most important.

        Skjei needs to be resigned, like NSH does their D, to a 6 yr $4m deal and slot as #2LD. Find him a stay at home RD so he can feel more comfortable skating and know someone will stay back there and can cover. Preferably someone who actually throws body checks and can skate.

        Staal will be impossible to move to slot him #3LD (limiting his minutes to prevent speed from burning him over and over again) and Shattenkirk as his D partner as #3RD. Staal can stop rushing the puck up and give it to Shatts. SHatts can control the offense and rush the puck knowing Staal can sit back. Staal as slow as he is needs to sit back and play Defense only and this offseason work on lateral movement, back skating, stop lunging for pucks and move your skates, and getting faster at his advanced age.

        DeAngelo can be the rotational #7. Isolate his games, set him up for success.

        This summer work on a #1C cough cough check on JT’s price. That guy competes every game even when he has an off night.

        so new NYR
        #1 line undetermined
        then
        Chytil/Zib/Zucc
        Miller/Hayes/??
        Vesey/??/Fast

        MacTruck/ ??
        Skjei/ ??
        Staal/Shattenkirk
        DeAngelo

        Heck if Pionk is not slow, maintains sound positioning and is willing to throw his body in the corner and in front of the net to give Hank sight then consider him next season for a
        spot over someone else and trade that player away.

        King Hank max 60-65% of games
        Igor Shestyorkin max 35-40% of games

        My real issue this season has been the Smith signing. Even without Shatts he was not needed at all. Had plenty of other Dmen.

        My other issue was signing Desharnais. It would have been better to bring up someone in stead of signing him. How the F does he get solid 2nd PP unit time….

        I do not blame AV at all. Yes he has made line ups that mind boggle me but if not for him and Hank they would be where Buffalo is this year. I pray they do not can AV for RUFF.

      • I don’t think they put out that letter to tell us what we already knew( Grabner , Nash, etc. )

        That was a clear sign guys like Mcdonagh and Zuccarello are on their way out the door.

        I like both of these guys. But they are the 2 most valuable pieces, and I believe they’ll be somewhere else in three weeks.

        Mcdonagh will cost too much now with Girardi buy out, Smith stuck, Staal stuck.
        Unfortunately, the only things safe are Staal, Smith and Lundqvist.

        We won’t be seeing Shestyorkin for 2 years. He’s under contract still.

      • NYR4 life agreed. Sad to see how much we are stuck with Staal & Smith along with the Girardi buyout. Big loss there.

  10. Would love to see Matt Martin come back to the Isles. Definitely wouldn’t give up much to get him back but suspect he’d be a great addition. There is definitely room on the bottom six.

    • NYI won’t have the cap space to accommodate both Martin & Clutterbuck. Their is no room in the NHL anymore for players like Martin but there certainly is for players like Clutterbuck. If you can’t skate at least 10 mins a game & bring more than just hits & protection the NHL game has past you by. Unfortunately some of the Neanderthals running teams in the NHL still haven’t read the memo.

      • I’m not a big fan of Martin but I think he played full shifts on team… Playing at least 10 or minutes a night while producing a lot more offense than currently for Toronto… Kinda like David Clarkson would have 200+ shots on Devils while chipping in offense before leaving there for money. I think he could do better on the Islanders he isn’t Steve Webb for god sake or Mick Vukota :). I met Mick he was a really nice guy got some autographs at a show I did for comic/sports at Nassau Coliseum I think it was.

        Martin don’t fit the style they play in Toronto so its best he comes back to NYI. I’m sure they can get Toronto to retain as much as the 50% of his contract or whatever. Islanders are not the guys who over paid somebody you call a neanderthal haha… Quest for Fire is a good movie if want to learn about that or see Rae Dong Chong or so ;).

  11. Skinner is now on the TSN trade bait list. It would be interesting to see what he could do playing with a legit number 1 center.

  12. I am cheering for Tavares to sign in STL next season. That is where I HOPE JT signs. Will he? Most likely not but I hope he does. Fantastic roster fit for him and his game. Great cast of players and I think JT is that missing piece there.

    Statsny and his $7M will be off the books. They have a solid team. They have a solid D corp for years. They have a solid goalie in Allen. They have Tarasenk, Schenn, Schwartz, Steen, Fabbri and group of young talent to round out the roster.

    • You mean solid goalie in Hutton?

      • clearly Hutton has been stellar in his 24 gp. So Allen is having an off season. His GAA is 2.75 that is 25th in all goalies into e league lol not great but Hutton has made up for Allen this season. I just think their team overall is a stellar situation for JT to look at.

  13. ok last Smith trade for the day

    to NSH: Smith, Miller & 1st or Smith, Miller, Grabner & 2nd
    to NYR: Suuuuuuubann P.K.

    Mac & P.K totally opposite personalities. LOL. One is uber quiet and the other has some NY flair LOL. Would love PK interviews with the NY media. PK is basically Nash & Smith salary so no biggie.

    • Subban has a no movement clause……..wait a minute, why am I even responding to this??????

      • not sure why either bc it is all in jest but as far as I have read he does not have a NTC nor a NMC.

  14. Toronto should ship Martin back to Islanders for a 5th rounder… Unless they plan to use him in the playoffs it seems pointless to retain him. I don’t know if Islanders would want him back… Though I know somebody was crying about how much they liked him who claimed to be an islandersrangers fan which is odd in itself :). Especially if they are at the max 50 contracts or whatever it seems wise to start shipping extra parts instead of keeping salary on them.

    I’d be surprised if Saad got traded as I think Chicago is a team problem not specific player or players. Evander Kane keeps dropping in value the more he plays… Even tonight he was a minus player when Buffalo beat Islanders without being a factor or getting a point.

    Reading all these idiots crying about McDavid having best season wasted… They don’t know hockey, Oilers had game tied 2-2 when LaDue got GWG who Kings have won every game he played in. McDavid is the most over rated/paid player in NHL history… He had 1 season of 100 points hardly impressive in post season in contrast… Then never scored 40 goals but is getting highest payday? Having hacks who can’t write saying the rest of the team stinks just shows a total ignorance… Or trying to conflate people making half his salary or less as massive contracts?

    McDavid’s Halloween costume w/ his hot GF dressed like a lingerie model claiming to be Melanie… That will be the highlight of his career in NHL at least on Oilers before he gets bought out or bankrupts them :). All these inflated contracts will just result in a lockout basically… Then in a few years they will hit the free agent wall like MLB. I see people crying about players not wanting to sign for millions of dollars wanting billions in that league… Yet they are suspending them for seasons for supposedly taking PEDs? Lets ban everybody who isn’t an Organic Vegetarian from sports as they are all drug users/addicts… What is a legal drug compared to what is illegal is absurd. I don’t care if players want to do drugs or light weights or anything to gain an edge short of cheating w/ deflated balls or pucks ;).

    I been reading these rumors for decades it seems like from when did Keeper Fantasy hockey leagues. So I was sad when saw THN had dropped the rumor page coming back to find a more main site of this/him. I remember when was younger getting the Hockey Digest/THN that was like weeks or months late in news :). I’d highlight the players in the minors who thought would be worth picking or obtaining in the keeper leagues. Bob Essensa the Shut Out King with like 5 or 7 in a season was one of my favorite goalies for Winnipeg Jets… The Real Jets, not the fake Atlanta franchise. I wish Coyotes gave up the Jets history to the current franchise they can have the Thrashers history in return :). At least Jericho still uses the older Jets designs in a few of his merchandise things :). Though last I checked he as born on Long Island in Manhasset I think or so… His dad I think played for the Rangers (Irvine) if remember the real name right.

    Hopefully the Kings keep playing 3 right shot D-men with 3 left shots instead of their leftist losing ways of 4-5 left shot d-men… NHL should fine teams who don’t have 3 right shots playing w/ 3 left shot D-men as hurting the league ;). Seriously they need to get rid of the bogus match fixing off sides rule. I remember same idiots who wanted to keep the 2 line pass crap defend the bogus off sides rule… I’d turn it off when played the NHL video games as it was totally stupid and pointless. AT very least if any part of body is still behind the blue line it should be off sides. The rule should only be for something blatant, linesmen shouldn’t blow the whistle if its even close… AS the replay can only take away a goal not award a goal when its already blown dead anyways. Under Bettman the NHL has rigged games all they can so its not a surprise some vague rules like that or the goalie interference are used to keep that going. He is the Vince McMahon of NHL only without the glory of the XFL to fall back on… SEe that coming back in 2020 so get ready for some possible real Football not NFL or CFL haha :).