Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – May 6, 2018

by | May 6, 2018 | Rumors | 42 comments

Updates on John Tavares and Max Pacioretty plus a roundup of St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars speculation in your NHL rumor mill.

TAVARES AND PACIORETTY

FRS NETWORK SPORTS: Chris Nichols cited TSN’s Bob McKenzie noted it’s been quiet regarding the status of New York Islanders free-agent center John Tavares. However, he has a gut feeling the Isles captain could be moving on to a new club on July 1. If so, he thinks the Montreal Canadiens could pursue Tavares but doesn’t believe they’re at the top of his list.

Will the St. Louis Blues pursue New York Islanders center John Tavares via free agency in July? (Photo via NHL Images)

Speaking of the Canadiens, McKenzie thinks they’ll revisit their efforts to potentially trade captain Max Pacioretty, who was the subject of considerable speculation leading up to the Feb. 26 trade deadline. He feels they could attempt to move him at the 2018 NHL Draft. McKenzie doesn’t see them making a long-term commitment to Pacioretty, who has a year remaining on his contract and lacks no-trade protection.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: McKenzie takes great pains to point out he’s merely offering his opinion about the status of Tavares and Pacioretty. I agree with his take on Tavares being unlikely to head to Montreal if he tests the UFA market. Clubs like the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues are better positioned to draw the interest of the Isles captain.

As for Pacioretty, he really wants to stay in Montreal but I think that ship may have sailed. The Canadiens need to shake things up and could pull the trigger on a Pacioretty deal if they can get a good scoring center in return. 

BLUES

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford recently addressed readers’ questions regarding possible offseason moves by the St. Louis Blues. He dismissed the notion of the Blues pursuing Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky or Joonas Korpisalo. He’s not sure if Islanders captain John Tavares would consider St. Louis an attractive destination if (and that’s a big “If”) he hits the open market. 

Rutherford thinks there’s a better chance of Ryan Reaves returning to the Blues as a free agent than David Perron. He also doubts the Blues will try to move Vladimir Sobotka or Jake Allen in a cost-cutting deal. He speculates the Blues could use the first-round pick they received from the Winnipeg Jets in the Paul Stastny trade in a pre-draft deal to acquire a forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keep an eye on the Blues this summer. They could kick the tires on Tavares but I expect they’ll be busier in the trade market. They have the assets (extra first-round pick and depth in young prospects) to swing a deal for a top-six forward. They were linked to Montreal’s Max Pacioretty and Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman before the trade deadline and to Buffalo’s Ryan O’Reilly in the offseason rumor mill.

STARS

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika lists adding a backup goaltender, addressing the defense and deciding the fate of center Jason Spezza among five things Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill must accomplish this summer.

Backup goalie options could include St. Louis’ Carter Hutton, Colorado’s Jonathan Bernier and Andrew Hammond, Winnipeg’s Michael Hutchinson and Boston’s Anton Khudobin. He wondered if Nill make consider trading Marc Methot or Stephen Johns to get a more reliable top-four rearguard or if he’ll re-sign Dan Hamhuis or Greg Pateryn.

Heika noted Nill will have a brief window this summer to trade center Jason Spezza before the final year of his contract kicks in, so he’ll have to decide if he’ll move Spezza or see if he can regain his form under new head coach Jim Montgomery. If Spezza is shopped the Stars might have to absorb part of his $7.5-million cap hit. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: From that list of potential UFA goaltenders, Nill should be able to find a decent backup for Ben Bishop. I don’t think Methot or Johns will fetch a more reliable top-four d-man via trade.

The decision on Spezza will be an interesting one. If there’s decent interest in the veteran center Nill will probably listen. If they keep Spezza he could return to form under Montgomery. But if he doesn’t, Nill might miss a golden opportunity to move him for a decent return. 

 








42 Comments

  1. Lyle, I know you think somehow a rivalry between two teams somehow would keep JT from signing with Rangers, but I still say if he hits open market, Rangers will Definately be all in. Don’t forget recent comments about being in position if certain players become available from management. This time last season, all the talk was about trading away Stepan and how weak we where down the middle. Getting a true 1c in his prime, without giving up assets, is a no brainer!

    • NYR & about 29 other teams will all reach out in the week leading up to July 1st when allowed to start negotiating & discussing contracts options with UFA’s, at least 20 will make offers. Tavares will have a ton of options with many cup contenders, especially with him as part of the mix.

      I still hope Tavares returns to NYI but I have serious concerns as to why nothing has been reached if that was really his goal at this point.

      If Tavares walks hopefully that will be the final death nail for Snow.

      • We will see if Tavares is really about winning soon enough. Islanders and Montreal are on not on the ‘contending’ right now list.
        As much as I would love him on the Rangers they would still be lacking the D to contend again right away.
        California teams, Vegas or Columbus imho give him the best shot

      • Always love the condescending “and 29 other teams” comments. Obviously you can easily whittle down that number just by eliminating teams that are already paying max money for their #1c’s. If be surprised if he doesn’t sign with Isles, but who knows what he’s looking for going forward. Plenty of arguments as to where he might fit, but pretty sure we can assume there’s not 29 teams as realistic destinations

      • Realistic landing spots for Tavares. No peticular order (except if I’m him..South Florida.) Isles, Rangers, Panthers, Sharks, Knights and Av’s

      • I don’t see either Flo or Col as options, neither will pony up the monies. Florida has it’s top 2 C’s in Barkov & Trocheck, both are locked up long term. McCann will be their #3.

        Colorado is in the mid stages of a rebuild, McKinnon is #1, Kerfoot, Compher & Jost are all natural C’s & Soderberg is a decent option at #3 with 2 years remaining at 4.75.

        Both of these teams function on tight internal budgets nor do I feel that either would appeal to Tavares but that still leaves 15+ teams that will be bidding hard. Tavares is going to be doing some serious flying around for a week.

      • ds. Rangers defense isn’t complete. Not much worse currently than the group that lost to Ottowa in conference semis 2 years ago. We have quite a few unproven dmen, but Pionk and DeAngelo both had good showings last season when given the opportunity. With Shattenkirk hopefully healthy it’s not as bad as you think. Signing Tavares will make Hayes expendable. Plenty of teams in need of center depth. As discussed yesterday, maybe can be packaged for a guy like Hamilton in Calgary. Maybe Trouba wants out of Winnepeg? Either way, signing JT doesn’t cost you any assets. I’m sure Gorton can make a deal for a proven defenseman.

      • Slick62- JT and Carlson change the feel of the Rangers instantly and its a 90s style Rangers rebuild…and yeah two 7 year deals to players per usual….
        I still do not understand the need for a soft Hamilton when there is Shattenkirk and ADA(dead weight) on the roster.
        The Rangers should be able to draft one of Dobson/Bouchard/Wilde with the #9 pick.

      • Striker. I wouldn’t count out Florida. Tavares makes them stronger down the middle for years to come. Good young core that just missed out on playoffs. They have the cap space . As o said, if I’m him. SoFla is a great place to live. (Except for brutally hot summers, but that’s offseason) He’s not married, I don’t know his relationship status, but, not many better places for a young, rich sports star.

      • slick… pens show you can pay 2 number 1 centers. and that it works. so the 29 other teams is accurate. hell even the pens could be in on it. trade kessel and brassard or letang and brassard and sign taveres… wont happen but its possible.

      • ds. I don’t see Rangers getting Carlson. I agree we might get Dobson or Bouchard.. I even like Woo or Samuelson as late round picks… but they’re all a few years away from nhl ready. Although you might see Hamilton as soft, he’s huge. A big body with that reach has many advantages over smaller dmen. Maybe he’s not crushing guys in open ice but 6’6 and we’ll over 200lbs? He doesn’t lose many one on one battles..again, just going by fact Hamilton’s name has been in rumor mill. I’d prefer Trouba, but I think less chance he gets moved as they’re looking real good right now. No need for changes there, but maybe if he holds out again.

      • What would happen to the Islanduhs if Johnny T. signed with the Rangers? The ultimate insult.

    • It wasn’t meant to be condescending sorry you took it as such. I have always been positive about your NYR’s. They have has good a shot as anyone & the fact he played for NYI is of no concern to me nor would I think to him.

      This won’t be about money but simply where he wishes to play.

      The 29 teams comment was simply to say that I honestly believe every team will at least speak to his agent, I then went on to say that about 20 could bid. There are some that make no sense to me to do so as their C ice positions are locked up & baring a significant trade could never make room for his salary, cap hit or would be willing to pay him what he can command. Bos, Edm, Flo, LA, Min, Nas, Ott, Phi, Pit, TB, Was & Win. That’s actually 12 but a few of those could wiggle or trade out a player to accommodate him & his salary if inclined.

      You need to lighten up.

      • If JT walks and do not get me wrong he has the right to do so. Him leaving will damage this team for many years to come. If sends a poor message to the fans, the current and potential free agents that could push this team over the edge.
        People say the Islanders are not contenders. I disagree. The Islanders are a goaltender and stay home defenseman away from being a top four contender in the east.

      • Lighten up? Lol. I’m not angry. There are a lot of Ranger haters that automatically dismiss them, more cause they’re jealous of them always being able to spend. Same thing happened last year with Shattenkirk. My comment is more addressing the fact that saying what you did, though maybe unfair to you, is the usual response…. mainly because there’s some anger towards the fact Rangers are always in on the top FA . Gorton has actually done a good job of not overpaying last few years, while getting younger and rebuilding prospect pool. Tavares represent the perfect combo of need plus age. Too good to pass up. Unfortunately for a lot of teams, doesn’t matter what the cap is, they can’t afford to spend.

      • I agree with you. In today’s NHL with the quality of kids coming anything can happen quickly as we saw with Col & NJ this season.

        If Tavares walks as a UFA Barzal is ready to just assume 1st line C duties, Nelson could always play as the #2 & I assume NYI would go out & sign a UFA C like Bozak but they will miss Tavares 2 way game, Barzal is all offence all the time.

        Injuries to de Haan & Boychuk devastated NYI’s season. Without them, NYI didn’t have a hope. You can’t lose your #2 Dman Boychuk & #3 de Haan for 24 & 49 games respectively & be a playoff team. These were NYI’s best 2 defensive Dman huge minute munchers who play against the other team’s top lines & play all the difficult minutes.

        The only thing you can blame Snow or NYI for is not potentially trading Tavares last summer if he walks but like Nas with Suter they had the belief he would resign, he may still but those odds have been dropping all season. It will be awful but not certain who you blame.

        The mistake was putting themselves in this situation. I’m not letting a player of this quality become a UFA at 27. I’m bridging them, then signing them long term. NYI gave Tavares a 6-year deal coming out of his ELC well they held all the leverage. Now they may pay the price for that choice. That was Snow in the summer of 2011.

        Brutal asset management.

      • Striker, Colorado does not operate on a tight internal budget. That has been mistakenly reported by lazy national writers for a decade now (likely because they didn’t have any talent to pay?)They were a cap team as recently as Roy’s last season.

        I’m not sure now is the time for them to make that huge offer but if Sakic wants too, money won’t be the reason JT chooses elsewhere imo

      • Flyers have over 20 million in cap space and dont need to trade to create room. That being said Id be surprised if JT signed there.

  2. So what’s the plan? Mon is going to move their best scoring winger, a LW, with 1 year to UFA status for a scoring C? Well, that should be easy, as teams love giving up scoring centres for scoring wingers!

    Here’s a plan, keep Eller he was a solid #3C who could play as the #2 in a pinch, then trade for Shaw & sign him for 6 years at 3.9 per who can play C but the coach chooses not to. Keep Sergechev, your D sucks & he was part of the long-term solution, don’t sign Price for 8 years at 10.5 mil, when the entire team especially the D in front of him can’t contain a beach ball & use some of those savings to have extended Patches. Keep Andrighetto but actually, give him a chance. How about Markov, let’s let him walk over an extra year.

    Well, you’re at it don’t keep beating on & punishing 1 of your best offensive weapons in Gelchenyuk. You might even consider giving Danault a chance offensively, he’s the best C you have & if given a chance offensively might surprise. I was hoping Mon would play Danault as a C between Gelchenyuk at LW & Drouin at RW, his defensive awareness might help these guys.

    I have no idea what Mon is doing, nor do I think they do. Curious to see what they have planned this summer. I don’t think Tavares is signing in Mon, why would he if he has the pick of teams.

    • Im inclined to agree. Signing in Montreal is swapping one incompetent gm on a team going nowhere for another. Makes so sense for Tavares to do that.

    • Will the Habs trade Noah Juulsen to a team where he becomes a top pairing D?

      • I sure hope not, they need all the help they can get on D & with only Mete & Juulsen near NHL ready, they shouldn’t be moving any D out. Brook should have an NHL future but 3 years away min baring a miracle. His defensive game needs a ton of work, that will come with AHL seasoning for several years.

  3. I think Tavares will review his 25 offers and use that as leverage with the Islanders. They must match his best proposal. If he truly wants a change of scenery not sure that choice is Montreal.
    Spezza was one of my favourite players in his prime years. He has looked uninterested the last couple. Stars will need to keep 50%.
    Wonder if Marchand got the message on his licking antics. What an embarrassment. Should be the same as spitting. Next up is his clipping. (not just in football)

    • I don’t think Tavares needs leverage in negotiations. With team moving to a new arena in a few years and the fact they’re always competing for fans already in metro area, Isles can’t afford to lose their marquee player. Pretty sure Isles are willing to pay, but Tavares will use this 1 time opportunity to explore his options

      • Agreed. Curious to see if he makes the same choice as Stamkos. There’s no place like home. Now just say that 3 times & click your red shoes together Garth! Not you but Garth Snow.

        If Tavares walks as a UFA Snow deserves to be fired. I don’t allow a player of this quality to ever get into this position. I deal with it 1 way or the other a year prior. If I can’t get the player extended I’m at the very least testing his trade value.

        Nas losing Suter for nothing was shameful. Lesser players who can be replaced potentially sure but this quality of player can’t be & no team can afford to lose them for nothing whether they gain the cap space or not. No replacement for Tavares in the UFA market or in trade.

      • not for leverage but to determine market

      • Striker, I’ll laugh if Tavares bolts. Totally agree Snow should be gone if it happens. They’ve had since last summer to get this done. If it was Tavares choice not to sign, then he should’ve been moved at the deadline. Missing playoffs and not cashing in on biggest trade chip? Brutal!

  4. StL has Tarasenko, Schwartz, Schenn, Steen, Fabri, Berglund, Svoboda, Thompson, Barbashev & Thorburn, that’s 10 forwards all signed through next season. Jaskin, Sundqvist & Shoshnikov are RFA’s & all need to clear waivers to be sent down.

    StL has 1 of the strongest prospect pools at forward with Thomas, Kyrou & Kostin. Blais is NHL ready, Sandford will be healthy having lost the entire season & is very close to NHL ready. Thankfully Blais & Sandford don’t have to clear waivers to be sent down, nor does Thompson not sure about Barbeshev.

    StL certainly has the assets to buy a top 6 forward but do they really need to? Much will depend on Fabbri. Although they have a ton of players that can play C that may be their biggest need having moved out pending UFA Stastny. They had talked about moving Fabbri to C at the start of camp last season but never got the chance.

    They just don’t appear to have any need on the wing in the top 6 unless Fabbri moves to C, that opens a 2nd line LW spot potentially. I assume Schwartz & Tatasenko are the #1 LW & RW respectively. Is Steen playing 3rd line minutes? I guess its possible with Berglund & Svoboda, 1 playing C but what do you do with Thompson & Barbeshev then? They aren’t really suited to 4th line roles & surely 1 of Thomas, Kyrou or Kostin is playing in the NHL next season in StL.

    • The Blues will be near the front of the line for O’Reilly. Nice spot for Lehner too, a fresh start. Sabres will want both players out west.

  5. What’s the possibility of the Habs making a pitch for Claude girioux.
    Could a package of the #3 overall be in play?

    • Why would Philly want to?

      • Giroux & Elliot for Price & someone….. if Hart really is 2 years away from being the elite starter

  6. Hopefully JT resigns with the Islanders, if he doesn’t and he informs them of such, a sign and trade might be the best option available to the isle to at least get a pick or prospect.
    Montreal going to sign JT and then trade away their best goal scorer? That makes sense.
    This is for Striker Rick Nash is NOT a playoff performer.
    The best thing about Krug injury is Cassidy can no longer pair him with Kevin Miller, the worst 5vs5 pairing in the NHL playoffs.
    Boston will force a game 6 today if the continue to hit TB players. Rask will need to be the difference and hopefully not the refs.

    • I wonder what we’ll see from Marchand today – he’s a great player but what an idiot. Having played a lot of rugby, I can say with certainty that Brad Marchand would last about two minutes on a rugby pitch.

    • Good luck with Holden

  7. STL trades Sobotka, Bouwmeester and the 1st from WPG to MTL for Patches, Benn & 2 2nds ??

    makes pitch to JT

    i know Jay-Bo has a NTC but they could ask him…. and MTL needs help on the back end

  8. TO CHI: rights to JT
    TO NYI: Connor Murphy & Anisimov

    there is the cap room to sign JT and gives Kane a center while Toews has Saad

    • That would be assuming JT has no intention of playing with Isles and would sign with Chicago? Then why would Hawks give up anything

      • to clear the cap room…..
        cannot sign JT with both those salaries and they get his rights…. to flip if they cannot….. both anisimov and murphy combined cap would be JT’s

      • They can trade those guys separately. Nobody is trading for a ufa

  9. I like all the speculation about JT to Leafs. If he signed a one or two year at max Leafs could handle that. The problem is that it has not worked very well in the past. From a Leaf perspective I would sooner see them sign JVR to a front loaded long term deal then go get a top four right defenseman.

    Going after Hamilton would be an expensive trade but if it only involves a first pick, other picks, rights to UFAs, some roster players, and prospects I am ok with a trade.

    Flames need some good wingers and TO has Bracco, Lievo, Grunstrom, and Timoshov that qualify. Then there are roster players like Martin, Johnsson, Carrick, and Kapenin. That doesn’t even take in account defense prospects like Rosen, Borgman, Neilsen and Holl.

    As long as Kapenin, Liljegren, Grunstrom don’t go I am quite ok with them moving any prospect and maybe even one of them going would be ok. Then there are better roster players like Gardner that might come into the discussion.

    Anyway a lot of dreaming by a Leaf fan here.

    • Why would JT sign a short term deal with any team?