NHL Rumor Mill – April 6, 2018

by | Apr 6, 2018 | Rumors | 35 comments

Another week, another series of speculation over the future of John Tavares. Check out the latest on the Islanders captain, along with updates on the Canucks, in your NHL rumor mill.

As the regular season winds down, New York Islanders captain John Tavares remains a hot topic in the free-agent rumor mill. (Photo via NHL Images)


FANRAG SPORTS NETWORK: Chris Nichols cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman discussing the contract situation of New York Islanders captain John Tavares during his recent “31 Thoughts” podcast. Regarding the possibility of the Islanders re-signing Tavares, he thinks it’s going to be more about how the organization works than how much his next contract might be. “You get into a dicey area because it’s always tough. Do you ask your player, ‘Okay, are you happy with the organization? If you’re not happy with the organization, what changes would you like to make?’ That’s a tough spot for a player to be,” said Friedman.

Asked if the Montreal Canadiens could land Tavares via free agency, Friedman believes the friendship between Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin and Tavares’ agent Pat Brisson could get them a seat at the table. If teams in states with no state tax (Vegas Golden Knights, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars) get into the bidding, the Canadiens will have to make a huge offer to counter that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Tavares decides to play the market, I don’t doubt the Canadiens will be interested. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $62 million invested in 21 players for 2018-19 and all their core players under contract. With the cap ceiling projected to rise to $80 million (or possibly higher), the Habs will have plenty of room to make a big offer for Tavares.

The Golden Knights have even more cap room, with only $47.4 committed to 18 players. Given the reports claiming they were close to acquiring Erik Karlsson and Bobby Ryan from the Ottawa Senators before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, GM George McPhee seems willing to make bold moves to improve his club. I wouldn’t be surprising if they pursue Tavares on the open market. 

The Panthers, Lightning and Stars have the “no state tax” advantage, but I don’t see them getting into the bidding for Tavares. The Panthers have Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck centering their top-two lines and the Lightning have Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point and Tyler Johnson. The Stars, meanwhile, face re-signing first-line center Tyler Seguin to a big raise (perhaps over $10 million annually) before his eligibility next year for UFA status. 

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks plays, “What if John Tavares signs with the Rangers?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We go now to Islanders fans everywhere:



SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman speculates the Vancouver Canucks could be aggressive in this summer’s free-agent market. With the Sedins retiring, the Canucks will have around $20 million in cap space for 2018-19. Friedman points out the Canucks were reportedly very interested in center Mikael Backlund before he re-signed with the Calgary Flames.

With the Canucks rebuilding, he suggests they could offer up short-term, bigger-money contracts to some of this summer’s available UFAs. He also wonders if they might contact the Chicago Blackhawks or Ottawa Senators offering to take on some or all of Marian Hossa’s or Bobby Ryan’s cap hit if they agree to make it worth their while.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what the Canucks intend to do with that extra cap room. They don’t have any expensive free agents to re-sign. Their notable restricted free agents include Sven Baertschi, Jake Virtanen, Troy Stecher and Derick Pouliot. Assuming it costs $10 million to keep all of them in the fold, they’ll still have plenty of room to bring in a couple of good veteran players via trade or free agency.

I don’t see them going after big-ticket UFAs such as John Tavares, Washington’s John Carlson, San Jose’s Evander Kane or Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk. Perhaps they’ll look at veterans such as Vegas’ James Neal and David Perron or Winnipeg’s Paul Stastny, or maybe they try to bring back Thomas Vanek, who had terrific chemistry with rookie Brock Boeser before he was shipped to Columbus before the trade deadline. 




    Poor Kryton

    • Seconded! Great gif, Lyle, brought back memories. Personally I was expecting a Scanners Gif but that worked.

      I think too much has been made of the Marc Bergevin/Pat Brisson relationship and Taveres talk. To me all That it means MB will know honestly if Taveres is actually seriously looking at Mtl or not. MB will get that sort of heads up but nothing more.

      • I was going to use the Scanners gif but felt it might be a little too unsettling, especially first thing in the morning! 😉

      • I’m guilty of never noticing these things unless someone mentions it.

    • I love that one episode when its like a planet of wax people or the greatest in history… It crosses up w/ a star trek episode… Though I think I recall they had like Lincoln/Ghandi running as they get shot at in a massive war or so :). Hard to remember used to watch a lot of those odd shows that all blur together from same channel… One was like people had this 3rd eye… Another they had powers, but they were like teens or something it was weird ;). That don’t even get into the Dr. Who stuff haha ;). If know episode I’m talking about I used to think it was hysterical as a kid ;). I think if those states without taxes bid for Tavares it would be attractive since most are playoffs or cusp teams at worse too :).

  2. Daniel is retiring with 23 goals. Much better then fading into the night or told not good enough any longer. Jagr and Doan come to mind.

    • They are going of a time of their own choosing. Good on them.

      The Canucks should not chase any of the big UFAs. Not where they are at as team rebuilding. However, I would encourage them to look at other teams’ toxic contracts with one to two years left – as long as they came with sufficient sweetners (picks or prospects). The only player I would even think about Ottawa’s Karlsson (not an UFA, but likely to be traded). Just don’t see that Vancouver has the pieces for that trade.

  3. If your Tavares & can sign anywhere you want are you picking Montreal?

    Had really hoped the Sedin’s would give us at least 1 more year as the Canucks have no 1 to replace them with ready for those roles. Both are still 50 point players playing 3rd line minutes at ES with 1st line PP time. Weird & unfortunate.

    Curious to see what Benning does with their cap hits. Can anyone figure out what the plan is in Vancouver? Is this a rebuild it’s 2 years late & how does Eriksson, Gagner & Del Zotto 3 players added in the last 2 years fit into such?

    • What cap hit?they are UFAs at the end of the year.

    • If I’m Tavares I’m signing with the Panthers. They are a piece or 2 away from being serious contenders and the low taxes in Florida are too good to pass up. It makes sense both financially and competitively.

  4. I get the logic that teams like Florida, who are already strong up the middle, won’t have interest in Tavares.
    But I’m not so sure I would rule anybody out if he decides to test the market, and I would if I was him. You would be crazy not to listen, and then make a decision. I think teams will take the same approach.
    Take the Florida example, if you sign Tavares, you then have the ability to move a Barkov or Trocheck for a significant return for an upgrade elsewhere in your lineup.
    You could even use Edmonton as an example. Sign Tavares, move Draisaitl for a big return.
    Of course it all depends on what amount he will sign for and how much you value him as a player for the next 7 years.
    Of course I am not saying Florida or Edmonton will or should, just examples off the top of my head.
    I can see plenty of teams being interested.

  5. Spector says Montreal has all their core players under contract. I was thinking “Montreal has a core?” Jk
    The way the Nhl is now, you might be in one year and not the next. Both the east and west have 3 teams in the playoff who DNQ last year, the west could have a 50% change over if Colorado takes the last spot bumping out St.L
    When I said at the start of the season Winnipeg was making the playoffs, Striker asked me who spot they were going to take. My answer was Chicago, Dallas or St.L , I be lying if I said I didn’t think all 3 potentially would miss the playoffs (St.L could still make it).
    I don’t see anything changing next season could have another 30% to 50% change over in playoff teams and why couldn’t Montreal be one of them, a healthy Price and Weber will go a long ways in helping their cause.

    • I didn’t have SJ or Vegas making it either. I had Edm & Cal.

      In the East I didn’t have NJ or Phi either. I had NYR & Car.

      I agree fully with your thoughts on playoff spots. The bottom 3 or 4 spots in each conference are a battle between 7 or 8 teams. The quality of draft picks are improving significantly & a top 3 even a top 5 pick can step in potentially & seriously alter the make up of a team. Parity has never been better & with each passing year the difference between the haves & the have nots is declining.

      Well unless your Montreal. Ha-ha!

      • The habs have a great shot of signing Tavares next year as free agent, he’s not an idiot he knows no team could overcome the injuries the habs had this season they won the division the year before. The habs have a great prospect pool and with 5 picks in the first 2 rds they will just add to that. Unless your striker you know the habs will be back in the playoffs next yr, I mean pretenders like the bruins and leafs made it this yr and will be out in the first rd unless they play each other of course

      • The habs have a great prospect pool? This is news to me

      • They won a division full of pretenders apparently so I wouldn’t put much stock into it.

      • You can hear the jealousy of 24cups with these 2!

      • It’s only a cup if I was alive to see it… otherwise irrelevant. So as far as I’m concerned the habs have 1 cup

      • Typical answer for a fan whose team isn’t close to the habs in wins

      • The who?

  6. NJ clinched a playoff spot last night, does that make Hall the favorite for the Hart?
    If Colorado makes the playoff does that give the edge to Sakic? Sorry meant to say McKinnon.

    • I had McKinnon but he has faltered & playing in the west doesn’t help his cause.

      I think I take Hall now.

      • It’s funny the avs had a terrible yr last yr nothing went right so they tanked which you have to in the new nhl, yet striker thinks the sens who almost went to the cup last yr is a mess! Ha-ha you really don’t know what you are talking about do you striker?

  7. If Montreal had a deep prospect pool they’d already be playing in the NHL. Bergevin has mismanaged the Habs into a complete and total disaster. Tavares has played his entire career with a buffoon for a G.M. Why would he ever want to sign with Montreal?

    If JT is about the money he signs with the best financial offer. If he wants his name on the Cup and to play for a winner then he’ll take less maybe to make it happen.

    • All I have to say is Ron dull!!!

  8. Why would Taveres take a chance on a team like the Habs? He can pick any contender he wants. They would move anyone needed to make room.

    If Dallas could sign him for a team friendly contract they would move Seguin in a minute. He would bring assets to strengthen the team other place. Or they could use futures to get Spezza out to make room. Nill has seen stuff like this work in Detroit.

    The other option is even a team like Toronto. They sign him and re-up JVR but after Nylander, Matthews and Marner get big money the Leafs would have some major decisions to make. For the right deal anyone but Matthews is available in two years.

    The only real question is should a team look at this and what does it do to their future?

    • Why would he go to the laughing stock of the nhl in Toronto? The leafs are pretenders if not for Anderson this yr the leafs aren’t making the playoffs not to mention a lot of nhl players do not want to play for Babcock

      • Blah, blah, blah… try to catch up, Bigbear, you’re living in the past.

      • Blah blah blah try to live in reality BC the past has happened the leafs have had a bright future since 1968 yes that long

  9. Big bear and bbb… because you two are obviously different people, need to stop embarrassing Habs fans. They have all accepted the facts…except you two! Just relax and have a tall glass of Molson Ex. Hopefully Bergevin is Montreal’s Ex soon and that mess of a franchise can start getting back to being relevant

    • Shticky fd do you realize how much of a total idiot you sound like? The habs win the division last yr when’s the last time the leafs did that? Lol you talk about being relevant……..when’s the last time the leafs were relevant or won a playoff series? You are one of the unrealistic leaf fans that think they can talk bad about any teams management

  10. If Dallas can peddle Spezza and Hanzal, I can thens ee them make a pitch for Tavares but in no way could they with both on the books while still needing to pay Seguin.

    If JT will not sign with the Islanders…. should DAL offer Spezza & Hanzal to NYi for JT’s negotiating rights?

  11. You are better off with Grettle than Hanzal who has always been a band aid. No different this year and I am assure the rest of his career

    • I can see Matthews being a band aid like that both big bodies but I don’t think even hanzal had the injuries Matthews has had at such a young age

      • Some saucy. Lol