NHL Rumor Mill – June 15, 2018

by | Jun 15, 2018 | Rumors | 100 comments

Updates on John Tavares, Milan Lucic, Ilya Kovalchuk, Mike Hoffman and John Carlson in your NHL rumor mill.

Pending free agent center John Tavares continues to talk contract with the New York Islanders (Photo via NHL Images).


TSN: The interview period when teams can interview pending unrestricted free agents begins on June 24. New York Islanders center John Tavares could take full advantage of that, but Darren Dreger reports Tavares and his agent Pat Brisson are currently focused on contract negotiations with the New York Islanders.

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran makes the case for the Maple Leafs to pursue Tavares if he hits the open market on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the hundredth time, the Leafs don’t need Tavares. They already have a first-line center in Auston Matthews and a solid second-line center in Nazem Kadri. Blowing their brains outs on a big-money deal for Tavares will hamper their efforts to bring in a proven top-pairing defenseman, which is their biggest roster need right now. Unless they’re planning on trading Matthews for that blueliner, adding Tavares makes no sense. 


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports there are trade conversations going on between the Edmonton Oilers and other teams regarding Oilers left wing Milan Lucic. While a lot of people are trying to link Lucic to the Montreal Canadiens because they lost out in the bidding for his services two years ago, LeBrun said he’s told they are no longer interested in the big winger.

LeBrun added the impression around the league is Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli isn’t looking at a salary dump but instead prefers making a hockey trade. He speculates that could be because Lucic is suggesting a change of scenery but there’s no confirmation of this.

FRS HOCKEY: Chris Nichols cites Elliotte Friedman recently telling Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650 he hadn’t spoken with anyone from the Oilers about a Lucic trade, but the people he’s talked to suggest management is reasonably confident they can make it happen.

Friedman noted the Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers had interest in Lucic when he was eligible to become a UFA two years ago, suggesting the Oilers should approach those clubs first to see if they’re still keen on him. He also speculated Lucic might prefer a trade to a non-Canadian club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lucic’s hefty contract and last season’s decline in his production likely dampened any interest the Canadiens may have had in him. Both factors will also affect the Oilers’ efforts to make a hockey deal. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but the Oilers might either have to take back a toxic contract, pick up a big chunk of Lucic’s $6-million annual salary-cap hit or include a top prospect or high draft pick in the deal to make it work.


LeBrun reports teams with interest in unrestricted free agent Ilya Kovalchuk are among some of the clubs the Carolina Hurricanes are talking to about a possible trade of Jeff Skinner. He thinks Kovalchuk must make a decision where he’ll sign in the next week or two before the Hurricanes can move Skinner. He believes the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks are among the clubs with interest in both players.

SPORTSNET: Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney intends to speak with Kovalchuk’s agent. “He’s got things that he’s looking for and we’ll see where it goes.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Kovalchuk’s preference is to join a Stanley Cup contender. The Bruins could certainly tick that box for him.  Kovalchuk can reach an agreement in principle with a team before the UFA market officially opens at noon ET on July 1. However, he could wait until that date to make his decision. If so, the Hurricanes could be stuck waiting until then before they can find a suitable trade partner for Skinner. 


On the heels of allegations regarding Ottawa Senators winger Mike Hoffman’s fiancee cyberbullying Erik Karlsson’s wife, Dreger believes it’s now more difficult for the Senators to move him. He said there are GMs interested in Hoffman who are concerned about “the other stuff.” While it’s still believed the winger will be traded, Dreger feels it could adversely affect his trade value. He also reports the sense is Karlsson will remain patient and await the Senators’ contract extension offer on July 1.

OTTAWA SUN: Despite Hoffman’s personal baggage, Bruce Garrioch believes the Senators can still get a good return for him if they can find the right fit. Ideally, the club would prefer moving the winger before the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas next weekend. Garrioch doesn’t know what the Senators’ asking price is, but he speculates it could be “a first-round pick in 2019 plus a player that can help them right away or a high-end prospect. That guess is just based on past history and the fact that would make sense.”

Garrioch said it’s believed more that 10 teams expressed interest in Hoffman. He thinks they could include “The Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes, St. Louis Blues, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres.” It’s believed the Blues may be the most aggressive. Garrioch also suggests the Toronto Maple Leafs could be looking to replace pending UFA winger James van Riemsdyk while the Montreal Canadiens have to make a decision on Max Pacioretty.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger’s take appears to be the consensus among the pundits. I doubt the Senators would’ve landed a first-round pick for Hoffman before this week. It’s even less likely now. I don’t doubt there are teams in need of scoring punch with interest in Hoffman but his fiancee’s situation could scare some of them off, while others could use this story to their advantage in trade discussions.


LeBrun believes the new contract extension for Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (eight years, $8.25-million annually) “sets the mark” for pending UFA blueliner John Carlson’s contract talks with the Washington Capitals. Given the Capitals’ limited salary-cap space, that could be a bit steep for them. LeBrun wonders if eight years at $8 million annually will do it. Washington GM Brian MacLellan is expected to meet with Carlson’s agent at the draft next week. 

SPORTSNET: lists the Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars as possible destinations for Carlson. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carlson won’t be taking a hometown discount. If that annual average value doesn’t begin at $8 million, he’ll likely be moving on. I believe the Capitals will re-sign him because they really don’t have much choice. He’s their top defenseman and his departure would blow a huge hole in the blueline that they won’t be able to fill via trade or free agency this summer.

If Carlson tests the open market, the Leafs, Golden Knights and Islanders could be the front-runners for his services. The Rangers and Sabres are rebuilding and Carlson could prefer joining a playoff contender. The Devils and Stars focus could be upon boosting their secondary scoring at forward. The Avs need depth throughout their roster but could look for affordable options. 



  1. In his Ottawa Sun column this morning Don Brennan writes “Once no other team makes a deal for Hoffman or claims him on waivers, Dorion has to tell Karlsson the Senators will pay the speedy winger millions to stay at home in Waterloo for the next two seasons.”

    There is another option: buy him out.

    • George O, curious what’s your opinion on all the Ottawa stuff, how would you like to see Ottawa handle the Hoffman and Lee situations

      • As I said yesterday, I’m not rushing to judgement. Hoffman and his fiancé are still denying their involvement. But unless the investigation proves beyond a doubt this was all a hack job of some sort and their innocence, Hoffman has to go – for whatever the best deal is offered, or a buy-out. There is NO way he and Karlsson can ever be on the same team again as long as there is some lingering doubt as to whether or not they were involved.

        The ONLY way Hoffman and Karlsson could stay on the same team is IF his fiancé is indeed guilty, he publicly splits with her and apologizes to the Karlsson’s and the team. I don’t see that happening.

        Lee should just be fired. This isn’t a homophobic stance by any means – could not possibly care less about that – but what he did should just never have happened in those circumstances.

        But the team needs to act FAST. Tough decisions are best made immediately. The problem for Dorion is timing. He can’t pull the plug on Hoffman until the investigation is complete and that could dwell long into the summer by which time the best opportunity to deal for any quality him is essentially lost if it turns out they are found culpable.

        I wouldn’t want to be Dorion.

      • Hoffman just needs to publicly break up with this woman and say he didn’t know anything about it. Publicy apologize to the Karlssons and privately. Then after he gets traded he can secretly get back together with her and in 2 years they can be a couple in public again because no one will care any more. Try and take the high road for the next little while and that heat will go away quickly.

      • Instead, he’s saying these reports are false & neither he nor she is involved?

        So much for innocent till proven guilty.

        I’m not weighing in as to which may be true as I have no data to make an assumption, I assume to have garnered what was garnered as an order there is some potential merit but time will tell.

    • Yeah of course denial ain’t just the river in Egypt Striker but there has to be some basis or evidence to support being able to publicly have a restraining order implemented. They don’t just hand those out willy nilly. For someone who acts superior to everyone else you sure are short in thought. No judge is going to smear a star hockey players name in Canada without a whole lot of proof. You know better striker:

  2. I know it’s off topic but I’d like to take a moment and congratulate the Toronto Marlins, and the city of Toronto for their big Calder Cup victory last night!

    This is significant for a city that hasn’t won a Stanley Cup in 50 years or that has only won one playoff round in the past 14 seasons.

    A lot of us look at the leafs as being the “ Cleveland Browns” of the NHL but this may be a sign of things to come in the center of the universe.

    Once again, congrats to the pee wee maple leafs for finally giving your fans something to cheer about!

    • They aren’t the Marlins. They’re the “Marlies” – short for Marlboroughs – a name dating back to the junior team’s launch in 1903 and lasting to 1989. The name resurfaced when the Leafs AHL team was relocated to Toronto from St. John’s, Newfoundland.

      • @George

        I suspect that was an auto-correct fail (“Marlies” to “Marlins”).

      • And Leaf fans of a certain age, George, can remember Junior A doubleheaders at Maple Leaf Gardens – the Marlies and St. Mikes playing back to back – when there was no draft and the players had signed the infamous “C” card with Toronto. It was fun but it was definitely a form of athletic slavery.

      • You’re probably right JDBiGC – just thought I’d toss it out in case. And BCLeafFan, I well remember the Marlies and St. Mike’s – along with the Guelph Biltmores (Shack – Sweeney & Weber – what a line), not to mention the Hull-Ottawa Canadiens under Scotty Bowman and Sam Pollock who were regarded as being so powerful neither the Ontario nor Quebec junior leagues would allow them to play in either – so they had to play their regular schedule in the Eastern Pro League.

        And when they wound up playing the Regina Pats for the Memorial Cup NHL scouts had to sit and watch TWO rosters “owned” by Montreal. One of the main catalysts for the adoption of a universal draft.

    • you should research how many teams with success in the ahl affiliate never had it translate to nhl success… it’s odd.

      • This is not true. All AHL teams that have shown to have success absolutely translates to more successful NHL or parent team.
        Stop saying crap that is just in your head that is usually based on nothing.

      • Really champ. so when is the last time a Calder cup winning team saw their parent club win a Stanley cup in the years following?



        Lets see you base a response that’s… how you said… crap that’s only in your head and usually based on nothing.

      • Ron Moore – when the Binghamton Senators won the Calder in 2011, the only players to eventually become NHL regulars are Zack Smith, Mike Hoffman, Mark Borowiecki, Patrick Wiercioch and Robin Lehner.

        Only Hoffman became a “star” of any sort and Wiercioch and Lehner have long moved on to other organizations (with Hoffman likely not far behind).

      • Chrisms I’m no expert but I think the Hershey bears won the Calder in 2010. Can’t remember who their nhl affiliate is

      • Still waiting. That research taking you some serious time. I can expect some serious power points excel spreadsheets etc. especially after you made such an ass of yourself mr Moore with that comment.

      • The caps. And it was 09. So ahl success helps 9 years later?

      • Doesn’t mean it’ll happen right away, but it’ll happen

      • How many cup winning caps were on that bears team?

    • Patrick Maroon = dark horse…nuff said!

    • Does this mean Lou will begin courting Keefe for coach of Isles?

      • Yup! Announcement forthcoming after the parade!

    • this is one of the best trolls I’ve seen in years.

      understated, subtle yet pointy, politely rude as I’ve heard it expressed, just ever so slightly to the side of being possibly sincere, and on a site replete with Toronto posters.

      And, best of all, so good that no-one is really sure.

      You, Sir or Madame, are an artist.


      • Hard days being a leafs fan, should be proud that you can say you seen a championship team on home ice, in your lifetime regardless if its the marlies.

        Its been 50 years, and more then likely another 50.

  3. Sens should give the Sabres a discount on Hoffman – after robbing Buffalo on the Lehner deal. Or maybe it was Tim Murray just being Tim Murray.

    Kovy to Boston would be another interesting marriage. For how many years? Broones won’t give him term.

  4. I am surprised Lyle that you doubted Hoffman would garner a 1st BEFORE this incident. I think that was a given. I still think he could garner a 1st even after this… all it takes is at least two teams undaunted by the off ice stuff.

    • I agree. Hoffman easily would have gotten a 1st round pick plus a good prospect before this incident and still might if two or more teams are interested. 25G/50-60 point players don’t grow on trees, especially on a good value contract for 2 more years. One rumour before was a 1st and Kyrou from St. Louis for Hoffman. If that offer still stands, I’d take it if I’m the Sens.

    • I’m with you. Hoffman’s value is impacted but not significantly. Did Hoffman get identified is he being investigated by the police? No, his girlfriend/fiancee did. I’d gladly take Hoffman. His girlfriend/Finacee just can’t come with him if guilty.

      What a mess.

  5. krecji for lucic…done..everyone is happy…youre welcome

    • Speaking for Bruins fans, we would not be happy.
      Krecji has had some health issues which along with age is causing production decline.
      When he is healthy, and some talent on the wings he is still an effective 2C.
      Lucic played like a 4th line winger last year. Couldn’t even take or make a pass in the 2nd half of the season. He was never this bad, so is a bounce back coming? Mental? Who knows, but I’m not giving up Krecji for him. Plus the B’s have no replacement for Krecji up the middle.
      I wouldn’t even trade Backes for him, unless the Oil through in a sweetener.
      How about Lucic for Ryan in OTT?

      • On 2nd thought, Lucic would never go to OTT.

      • That’s funny. As an Oiler fan I would take a Krecji for Lucic trade. lol
        I have also looked at a Lucic for Ryan deal. Ryan’s cap hit is 1.5 million more, but 1 year less than Lucic’s. Also Ryan is a RWer and may work well on a line with McDavid and Nuge.

      • Ya, Kevjam I live in Edmonton and have seen the Lucic debacle up close as well. Methinks the play will be to hope he turns it around. The Oil don’t have assets to give up just to move a contract, or the depth. They need more NHL ready players, not fewer.

      • I am leaning to the side of wait and see this year. Lucic just turned 30 and at the end of last season he said this offseason he was going to lose weight to try and get faster. Not saying he was over weight at all. In the last season training camp he came in around 230lbs with very little body fat. I know that is risky, but every player goes through a down year through out their careers.

      • Lucic for Ladd, both on bad deals, both suck these days

      • The only risk with waiting is he has another terrible year and then their is zero chance you can get anything in return. There might be a team out there that thinks he has a chance to bounce back and gets him for next to nothing.
        Methinks his value is already at next to nothing due (or less as you would have to sweeten) to the contract.
        Or he wants out, which there have been some rumblings of. If so he will have to open himself up to the league and waive his NMC.

      • Lucic for Carl Haglen and Dom Simon with the Oilers retaining 2.5 mill. I bet a Lucic Malkin Hornqvist line would be a handful for any team. The Oilers can flip Haglen and his expiring contract at the TDL if things don’t look good for the Oilers. The Oilers can have Hunwick for free.

      • please god no. I’d rather promote Hunwick to Malkins line.

    • I’m not. I’ll keep Krejci.

      • After lucic’s bonus comes past in july he may be easier to trade. Theres no point of taking another toxic contract.

        The oilers are hurting for wingers, among others.

        Best off hoping for a rebound season, and if things dont turn around buyout after next season is only 2 million/year times whatever number of years.

        Til the couple up and coming wingers mateur might as well hope for the best. Least he can fight

      • How do you get to 2 mil per year on the remaining term & monies if bought out next summer?

  6. For the hundredth time, the only way the Leafs can improve their D, is through a trade. But the only way they can trade from their forward strength without diluting said strength is if they add talent at forward through UFAs. There ain’t anyone better than Tavares.

    They don’t have to trade Matthews they could trade Kadri or Nylander to improve their D. Kadri for Manson would be ideal. And the Leafs can easily afford to pay Tavares, Matthews, Marner, Nylander and Kadri/Manson. You just have to do the math. Horton goes on LTIR, the cap goes up 5-7 mill this year and another 3-4 next before Matthews and Marner even count against the cap.

    Marleau’s contract is a red herring. After July 1 2019 he will only owed 1 million. He’s not going to put his 40 year old body through training camp and a full season just for 1 mill. He will either go on LTIR like they did with Lupul or Robidas, or like Hossa did with Chicago. Or he will retire and the Leafs will trade his cap hit (but no actual salary) to another team for whom the cap isn’t a constraint.

    The Leafs have about 45-50 million to play with and a stable of quality cost controlled talent coming up from the Marlies to offset the big salaries to their big guns. Easily enough to add Tavares

    • You have greater faith in the future of the North American economy than many! NOTHING that’s transpired in recent weeks gives me any hope that employment on both sides of the border will NOT suffer drastically as a result of a NAFTA collapse and, quite possibly, CETA, not to mention the building trade tariff wars. If and when a resulting recession hits both U.S. and Canadian markets those cap projections could suffer.


      • Hey George O, I agree it’s coming and will be another nasty one, and have read similar articles. While I thing powerful interests (Business leaders AKA Donors) will not let this turn into a trade war, or not let NAFTA get done. Both are just negotiating tactics and are illogical when thought through. Can’t see other countries getting bluffed.
        The big issue is debt will exceed growth (due to tax cuts instead of debt reduction during good times) and without interest rate hikes so will inflation. Overheating an already hot global economy. Also normal business cycles suggest it is due, it is the 2nd longest US expansion in history. Only question is when.
        Having said that economists have predicted 10 of the last 5 recessions!

    • It would be nice if the article was quoted the way it was written. The writer suggested a moon shot of offering him $16 million for one season and then evaluate where the team is with Matthews and their forwards. If they could fit him in after that give him a long-term deal otherwise he makes a ton of money for one season and gets to MoveOn. His point was it with mitigate the off chance that Matthews actually wants to play for Arizona as much as Toronto haters say he does. Or they could just try to sign Darkhorse maroon, we all know that fixes everything…

      • And no I’m not saying JT would take a one year deal, neither did the article in the Star, he just said that it would be a very bold move to try to pull off.

  7. Carlson is not worth his next contract. His stats are padded and his own zone defense is soft….
    Sign at risk**….. two years hes like Lucic.

    • I’m not sure we could be further apart on our views of this player.

      Since entering the NHL full time 8 years ago Carlson sits 13th in points. The last 5 9th.

      Having turned 28 in January & a pending UFA he’s getting money & term & has earned every penny of it.

  8. Doug,

    The Leafs should be in KARLSSON! The other Carlson too of course, but given the situation, with the Hoffman saga, Ottawa should look to shelve the rivalry and deal with Toronto. Toronto just won the Calder Cup and has several picks and prospects that would be needed to land Karlsson. Everybody knows Toronto’s weakness is on the blue line. Adding Karlsson, although not the defensive blueliner many are suggesting the Leafs need, to the mix would up possession numbers from the back end and having a player like that dishing the puck to the likes of Matthews and Marner would instantly up Toronto’s status as a contender. Ottawa, as presently constituted, does not appear poised to contend with or without Karlsson. Start the rebuild with your greatest asset. This is a more doable now given the current dressing room soap opera. Ottawa could be viewed by its fan base as supporting perhaps the greatest they ever had in a time of need while also securing the long-term interests of the team. Get it done! If this includes sending Nylander the other way then so be it!

    • Leafs cannot afford Karlson and Matthews. Carlson — *maybe* as he is likely to come in around $8M+, while Karlson would be looking north of $10M.

      • I don’t think they can afford either, or any high end UFA for that matter. Not until the Marleau contract is off the books. I knew at the time of that signing that Marleau contract was 1 year to long.

      • I’m sorry I know Karlsson is an offensive dynamo but he is average (at best which isn’t often ) in his own zone. Erik has a plus minus over his career of – 36 and Ottawa has had some good teams there in his NHL time. He is not and I repeat not worth north of $10 million a year. Plus he had 2 major foot surgeries he isn’t going to be the same. Drew Doughty is worth north of $10 million a season. If he wants more than that trade home rebuild get some valuable pieces…did anyone watch him this year in the defensive zone…awful

    • Disagree. The LAST thing the Leafs need is another offensive d-man. Need a steady stay at home to play with Gardiner. Carlson before….and I mean WAY before, Karlsson.

      • IMO Karlsson’s defensive play is underrated. I would be willing to give Karlsson 10 million before I give Carlson 8 million.

      • I agree. I don’t get a lot of Ottawa games here in Sunny Florida. But take Karlsson out of the series last year against Ny, and NY wins that series hands down!

        I’ve always lumped him in With the Shattenkirk, Yandle, Letang type of guys.

        In That series, he had multiple games where his defensive play, turned the other way and in the back of the net.

        Totally changed my opinion of him after that. Now, do I like him at 11-12 million per? Not so much!

  9. I hate to feed Leafs nation, but I really think Tavares to Toronto makes a lot of sense. Matthews, Tavares, Kadri is a championship caliber center ice trio. Trade Nylander or Marner for a D.

    But, I think Vegas makes a lot of sense for him, too.

    And I do think there is a way that the Caps could lose Carlson and still be contenders next year IF they are willing to go down that road…Slava Voynov.

  10. When speaking of contenders, and teams rebuilding, why is everyone so narrow minded about Vegas? As an expansion team they had unexpected success but how does that translate going forward. They took on a lot of expiring contracts and their success might hurt them now, as most players had career years and will expect raises. 11 FA’s this year (6 UFA) and approx 25 mil in cap space. 9 Players with 1 year left including both goalies and Nate Schmidt. Seriously doubt next year is anything like this year. They can’t affoed to sign all their own players let alone chasing big name guys hitting market

  11. Lyle how do you feel about JT signing with Toronto?

    • I believe he made it clear in his notes above:

      “SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the hundredth time, the Leafs don’t need Tavares. They already have a first-line center in Auston Matthews and a solid second-line center in Nazem Kadri. Blowing their brains outs on a big-money deal for Tavares will hamper their efforts to bring in a proven top-pairing defenseman, which is their biggest roster need right now. Unless they’re planning on trading Matthews for that blueliner, adding Tavares makes no sense.”

      • Lol George O, i’m fully aware of what Lyle wrote, that why I put my comment there. It’s my sense of humour and maybe your playing along.

      • whoosh!

      • LOL. Wondered about that, and got a good laugh out of it – but couldn’t resist the post – just in case!

    • Lyle id imagion like the rest of us could care less about the Cleveland mapleleafs!

  12. I have a trade proposal Bos send Krug + to Edmonton for the 10th overall pick, flip the 10th overall pick to Carolina + for Hanafin.
    I believe Krug could get a 1st round pick on his own but maybe not the 10th overall and the 10th overall might not be enough to get Hanafin but shouldn’t be much more.

    • I think Krug would get you the 10th out of Edmonton if he was a right shot. They already have issues with to many LD and short on RD. Agree you would need to add to the 10 to get Hanafin.
      Nice to dream of a future B’s top 4 of McAvoy, Zboril, Hanafin and Carlo though.

      • I’m happy having Krug, 1 of the best offensive Dman in the NHL now & still more to come, barring injury he may score 60+ points next season. I hope Boston extends him next summer, just a question of cost & term for me. If not at fair market value then I trade him.

        He had the same # of points last season as Subban playing 6 fewer games & got off to a very slow start when Boston was struggling with injury issues early in the year.

      • I like Krug too Striker, I just REALLY like Hanafin. I think he has a chance to be a true #1, but still some seasoning required. Obviously not a sure thing, but man the kid has the tools and took some strides last year.
        Ready to break out in the next couple years as an all around force IMO.

  13. Imo the leafs should sign Tavares and trade Nylander,they can even give Matthews and marner 5 or 6 year deals, buying up 1 year max of UFA status will keep there current deals down making it cheaper, always more money for more term at this point ad you buy up ufa years. Jake won’t be resigned so trade him and use those assets plus whst you get for Nylander for a right shot top 4 dman.

    That gives 7 years of Tavares and Matthews as your 1 2 center plus 4 more of naz in 3 hole. That’s a cup contender every year, you run a huge risk if Matthews and or marner split early but you save at least 3 million in cap space by only buying up 1 year max of ufa.

    • The only way I see Toronto signing Tavares is if they are trading Matthews to Arizona for OEL. I just don’t see how anyone thinks they will be able to afford both Matthews and Tavares at $10m+ (not to mention the others that will be getting new contracts) Especially without addressing the D.

  14. I’ve for a long time been against the idea of signing Tavares but a friend mentioned something the other day which did make sense and was mentioned above by MG.

    Having Mathews, Tavares and Kadri down the middle does make sense. It gives a high skill level in the middle of the lineup, something that is needed badly in any championship team.

    Having 3 high end centers has worked well for Pittsburgh. This is despite a less than elite defence. Leafs are in the same boat but have the depth in prospects to keep feeding the big club while players are traded or leave due to needing to stay under the cap.

    As also mentioned, you can turn Nylander or Marner (hopefully not) into a higher end dman ti help bring your defence up to par.

    I was so against the idea for so long but I’m slowing coming around to it now.

  15. Did all the Leafs fans just scroll through the part that said Isles and Tavares working on extension?

  16. Tavares will re-sign in New York…. with the Islanders that is! If he were going to Toronto it would be to the second team they should already have.

    • he would certainly set the locker room in AZ
      straight and they can afford him at 11 per….

      deeper and better younger roster and a better starting goalie

      they can now have a deeper center position and Strome can get better matchups and grinders like Rinaldo, Hamilton and Richardson do not need to be resigned.

  17. I’m willing to give Leaf fans a pass. It IS a rumor site after all. We sit and bandy about rumors. Just like all the Lucic trade proposals/options made by Dregs last night on SportsCenter….I kept mumbling…”but he has a no-trade, nope, no-trade…..he HAS a no-trade”

    • Thanks Dark G,

      To be honest…. people take stuff on this site way too seriously! That’s the fun part.

      • Yep, that is the point. Not all that Dark.

      • But if I post the best trade possibilities here, and bash everyone else’s proposals, NHL teams will see how talented I truly am and offer me a management position or at the very least contract with me as a consultant…this is my future we are talking about!

    • True. Trust me, I’m a fan that’s been hoping JT hits the market! Those hopes where crushed a little today. Now if Isles don’t sign him by the 24th, then we can start again. Carlson I don’t see leaving Caps either. This week will be interesting week for trades leading up to draft. For now, I think Tavares rumors are dead…Curious why we haven’t heard any rumors about a coach. Keefe?

  18. Would Hoffman going to NYI for the 11th, HoSang and the rights to DeHaan get it done?

    • If you meant the 11th OA, Hosang or the rights to DeHaan, then maybe. If you’re claiming all 3 for Hoffman, then Ottawa better be adding.

      • DeHaan is a pending UFA. His rights are valueless

  19. if SJ loses out on JT…would they offer Martin to OTT for Bobby Ryan with $1.5 retained? Kane reset himself going over to SJ…perhaps Ryan does too?
    Logan Couture center and Pavelski can…then let Thornton walk.

    • Kane is 5 years younger and having to resign Couture and Pavelski next year (in addition to Hertl and Tierney this year and 4 more RFAs next year) would make this move nonsensical. Even retaining $1.5m that leaves almost $6m for an aging, underperforming winger.

      • In addition, the Sharks need a first line defenseman. They will be on Carlson or Karlson, not someone like Ryan. Any rumors about Kovy are just that. No way that take someone older and slower when they let Marleau move for what Kovy wants,3yr at 6 mil. These pundits get more foolish every day!

      • Scott with 15 mil per season tied up in Burns & Vlasic for 7 & 8 years respectively no room at the in for a #1 Dman. Burns is their #1 & he is 1 dimensional but buying a player to kill penalties & check is far easier to do than buying a Dman that can generate goals & points as consistently as someone like Burns.

  20. Don’t be surprised if the Lightning make a run at Carlson. I think Girardi will be gone after next year. Mcdonagh Stralman & Girardi will all be FAs next year so they’ll probably lose at least one of them. Sustr & Coburn will probably be gone, too! They might be forced to trade Tyler Johnson because they still have to give Kucherov a deal & Point will be getting another deal at some point.

  21. Lightning will probably be forced to trade somebody. Johnson has his NTC up coming up but it actually wouldn’t surprise me if the Lightning do consider trading Stamkos. Some will disagree with me but he’s costing a lot & ever since his leg injury it seems like he really hasn’t been the same. He’s been dealing with injuries ever since. Plus it’s pretty much Kucherov’s team now not Stamkos.

  22. Striker. Kovulchuk next meeting with Bruins.

    • Yes, I have heard, it’s been out there for days.

      If Sweeney signs Kovy I’m out. Ha-ha!

      Few players a dislike more. I respect what he could do offensively but at 35 he’s a PP specialist for me. If he can stay healthy I assume 20 to 25 goals & 50 maybe 55 points at this point in his career.

      I want the youth movement continued, not another deadbeat addition that will take 3 years & close to 6 mil per to sign.

      • Agree, I don’t want him either. But I got a gut feeling Sweeney will take a run at him.

  23. History says the St. Louis Blues do not add players who cause the organization problems and headaches. Hoffman’s other half will certainly have the Blues stepping away from Hoffman.

  24. Funny how all of us me included want for our teams to get all the best UFA,s trade for all the stars but yet we all watched Vegas in the final. We should be hoping our GM,s are trying to find the next Wayne Karlsson not trading for Eric Karlsson. Any GM can sign unrestricted free agents do your jobs and find a diamond in the rough.

  25. Habs get smaller but fair trade. Wonder what Dad think of his son in a Habs Jersey.

    • Habs got fleeced bad.

  26. How does Bergiven still have a job? He’s turning the Canadiens into an AHL franchise.

    Brutal trade, just brutal.

  27. Karlsson would be fun, but no way a struggling/rebuilding team wants to see him visiting from their own conference. It won’t happen. Hoffman will be jettisoned for a bacg of pucks if they need to. As for Toronto, I don’t see them throwing their salaries out of whack by offering anybody $8million unless he’s under 26 and a force in the league for at least the next 6 or 7 years. Hanafin, depite being a Left defenseman make the most sense unless there is some sort of deal to send Calgary born Nylander to the Flames for Dougie Hamilton…and that is doubtful.

  28. Carlson going no where but to suggest that the Islanders are a contender is laughable even if they sign JT.