NHL Rumor Mill – June 25, 2018

by | Jun 25, 2018 | Rumors | 117 comments

Latest on John Tavares, James Neal, Erik Karlsson, Rick Nash and more in your NHL rumor mill.

TAVARES WATCH

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports the Toronto Maple Leafs are believed among the five teams expected to meet today with New York Islanders pending free-agent center John Tavares at his agent’s office in Los Angeles. The Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights could also be involved.

The Leafs, who don’t have much depth at center for 2018-19, wouldn’t mind bringing back Tyler Bozak, who’s also due to become a UFA on July 1. However, Koshan doubts they’d signed him to another contract paying him $4.2 million annually.

NBC BOSTON: The Boston Bruins haven’t ruled out getting into the Tavares sweepstakes. As of yesterday, they hadn’t been told if they’re among the clubs he’s willing to meet with but they very much would like to be.

THE ATHLETIC: Sean Shapiro reports the Stars would have to shed some salary to make room for Tavares if they’re successful in wooing him to Dallas. Trading Jason Spezza or buying out the final year of his contract ($7.5 million cap hit) would be the best option.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen reports it was unclear if the Golden Knights were among the clubs Tavares is willing to meet with today in Los Angeles. GM George McPhee declined to comment. Scuttlebutt among league executives during the recent 2018 NHL Draft suggested Tavares could re-sign with the Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams that meet with pending UFAs during the interview period usually prefer to keep it quiet. The reports regarding the Tavares interviews are merely speculating over which clubs could be involved. I don’t doubt most of the teams mentioned are interested in him but there’s no certainty they’ll be able to sway him into leaving the Islanders. 

LATEST ON KARLSSON, NASH, NEAL, PERRON AND KUNITZ

FRS HOCKEY: Chris Nichols cites Elliotte Friedman discussing Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson with Jeff Marek during their latest “31 Thoughts” podcast. He believes the Dallas Stars could be a stealth candidate to acquire the Senators captain.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would probably be if they lose out in the bidding for John Tavares, as they can’t afford both. Landing Karlsson would cost the Stars more than just money, as they’ll have to make a significant trade offer to the Senators, plus they’ll also likely have to take winger Bobby Ryan and his $7.25-million cap hit off the Sens’ hands. With center Tyler Seguin due to become a UFA next summer, the cost of re-signing him and Karlsson could be too much for the Stars.

TSN: cites a report by The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline saying Boston Bruins pending UFA winger Rick Nash is seeking a multiyear deal and has his former club, the Columbus Blue Jackets, at the top of his list. Portzline also said the Blue Jackets are showing more interest in Nash, who could also re-sign with the Bruins or elsewhere if he believes he can win a Stanley Cup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports out of Boston over the weekend had Nash mulling his future to determine if he wanted to continue his NHL career after years of wear and tear. Evidently, he’s still keen to keep playing. The 34-year-old winger won’t get expensive long-term offers but could receive two- or three-year offers worth between $4 – $5 million annually. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: David Schoen reports pending UFA forwards James Neal and David Perron were unable to reach terms on new contracts with the Golden Knights. They’ve begun fielding offers from other clubs when the UFA interview period opened Sunday.

Perron seeks a long-term deal after completing a two-year contract. Neal reportedly rejected a five-year, $25-million offer from the Golden Knights at the February trade deadline, apparently seeking a long-term deal worth between $6.5-$7 million annually. 

Vegas Golden Knights winger James Neal is listening to offers from rival clubs (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both players could circle back to the Golden Knights if they don’t find any suitable offers from other clubs. They could also see if the Knights will match offers.

Neal’s agent said if his client hasn’t re-signed by July 1 that “common sense” suggests he’s not coming back. Both players said they loved playing in Vegas and prefer to stay. We’ll find out soon enough where their futures lie.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports a source said the Penguins have interest in bringing back winger Chris Kunitz, though anything they due is contingent on creating extra salary-cap space.

LATEST ON THE RANGERS AND BLACKHAWKS

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the most critical decision facing Rangers GM Jeff Gorton is whether to trade Kevin Hayes or Mika Zibanejad. Hayes, a restricted free agent, seeks a five-year deal worth $5.5 million annually, which is comparable to the five-year, $5.3-million annually deal signed last summer by Zibanejad. Though they play different styles, their offensive production is essentially the same. Brooks said the Rangers intend to clear room to allow Filip Chytil an opportunity to claim a top-six role. 

Brooks also believes the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to clear the $5.3-million annual cap hit of sidelined and all-but-retired winger Nathan Horton if they succeed in wooing John Tavares. He wonders if the Rangers, who have “oodles of cap space”, “might be able to work out a deal for a young asset and/or a second-rounder for Horton.” He also believes the Rangers have interest in bringing back winger Michael Grabner but the chances of Rick Nash coming back are negligible. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Gorton wants to move Zibanejad or Hayes perhaps he should give the Montreal Canadiens a call. They’re in desperate need of depth at center. If the Leafs do land Tavares, moving Horton’s rights could be an option to free up cap space, though they’ll certainly have to include a promising young player or a decent draft pick as part of the deal. 

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Mark Lazerus reports the Blackhawks off-season priorities are landing a top-four defenseman, a backup goaltender, a scoring left wing and a taker for Marian Hossa’s contract. He wonders if GM Stan Bowman will attempt to move Connor Murphy ($3.85 million cap hit) to free up space for a free agent such as Ian Cole or Calvin de Haan, or swing a trade for someone like Carolina’s Justin Faulk.

A source said the Blackhawks were among the clubs reaching out to St. Louis Blue pending UFA goalie Carter Hutton. He also suggests if they can find a way to land a scorer like Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk via free agency or Montreal’s Max Pacioretty or Carolina’s Justin Faulk via trade they should do it. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Getting a top-four blueliner and a reliable backup are the Blackhawks top priorities. Sure, they could always use another scorer but they’ve got sufficient firepower right now to start the season. They can also put Hossa’s contract on long-term injured reserve to start the season if they’re in need of additional cap room. 

 








117 Comments

  1. Brooks is an idiot. Rangers don’t have center depth either. Chytil and Anderson are teenagers. And they’re Definately not taking Horton.
    Nash to Colombus makes sense. His wife is from the area. And call me a dreamer, but I still don’t count out the Rangers in the Tavares sweepstakes. Except for fact they’re the hated rival, they’d be a perfect match. Solid core of guys his age or younger. Nice stock of prospects moving forward. Proven HOF goaltender. In a good place capwise. He’d make team instant contender now and for the life of his contract.

    • Ny Rangers are not on the 5 team list Tavares and his agent have narrowed down . He is not coming to NY…. well Rangers anyway.

      As far as center depth, they have Zibanejad, Hayes, Namestikov, Spooner, Chytl, Andersson , and Howden. That is a hell of a lot deeper than they started last year.

      • Ok. As I said call me a dreamer!! I’ll count Rangers out when Tavares signs elsewhere… and no, we don’t have proven center depth. Spooner and Namestikov are like JT Miller. They’ve played primarily wing, but can play center.

      • Slick, last year Namestikov took over 600 faceoffs and about the same or more the prior 3 years. I watch a lot of Tampa….

        I don’t think Miller has taken 600 career face offs. Never liked the guy at center. I had that argument about 50 times here last year prior to the season.

      • Side note, I don’t know which one would look dumber. Tavares for going to NY, or Gorton for signing him.

        Ny has officially made the rebuild official. I wouldn’t expect any blockbuster deals in the near future. And honestly, that’s a good thing. From bypassing the draft , to now holding 7-8 first rounders in the last 12 months.

      • Faceoffs were the only part I liked when JT was the pivot.

        Miller took 805 and 54.3%

        Namestnikov 622 45.8%

        Hayes was 50.5. Spooner was 43.3% in limited action there. Zib 50.8.

        ROR took the most draws in the league and was 60%. That is impressive

      • Ny4. I thought Namestikov played wing with Stamkos all year? Also, rebuild is over, no? 10 draft picks on top of the prospects they got at deadline. Are we supposed to replace whole roster or do we start moving forward? You really think adding a top 10 center for nothing more than $ will hurt???? I’m tired of branding. It’s been said many times before here. Most teams win with one or two stars. I don’t see us ever winning lottery and passing on a one time chance to get one in FA would be stupid. Our 3 highest paid players will be gone in 3 years

      • I just don’t see a fit on either side at this point. Defense is young and unproven. Is this team better with all this youth + Tavares as they were with Stepan, Mcdonagh, Grabner etc? I certainly don’t think so.

        Namestikov started the year with Kucherov and Stamkos, but was bounced all over prior to the trade. When traded, he was no longer playing on that line and hadn’t been on some time.

        Is the rebuild over? Lol. No, it’s barely just begun. I guess if you want to go back to the Stepan trade , they’re a year in. But officially they didn’t waive the white flag until the letter/ trade deadline.

        Think of it (hopefully) like Tampa, and not an Edmonton/ Buffalo type rebuild. Getting 1st overalls or high 1st rounders has panned out well for those two teams ? Buffalo, a hot mess. Edmonton, not far behind. Making bad decisions like Lucic and having to part ways with younger players….

        Hiring of Quinn kinda spelled out which direction they were headed. The draft slapped an exclamation point on it. Most of these players drafted or acquired at the deadline won’t be seeing the NHL anytime soon.

        It’s nice to have dreams, But Tavares is NOT coming to NYR’s. Less than zero chance. Nor do I believe he should. They need to pick one direction, not get caught in the middle. I don’t see a contender here with or without Tavares.
        Buckle up, they’re 3 years away minimum! Getting Tavares now doesn’t change that. It just wastes 3-4 years of his prime and 33-48 million of Dolan’s dollars.

      • “Think of it (hopefully) like TORONTO “ not Tampa

    • I’m not sure about Nash to Columbus. The Jackets have several good, young wingers, both on the team already and developing in Cleveland. It seems to me that Nash still sees himself as a top six forward, but it’s likely that, in Columbus, he’d wind up on the third line, especially if Panarin stays. Would Nash be willing to accept such a role?

      • OMG somebody needs to talk me off the ledge. All this Panarin, Bobrovsky drama. Now Nash? Please God make it stop. I have waited so long to be legit. This off season is setting is back 10 years.

      • I think that’s where he is… probably thinking of settling down back there.

  2. I think both Neal and Perron will actually circle back with VGK with their best offer to see it they match it … stay at the best offered $’s …. why not

    However … I really can’t see both back …. and if Neal does get offered 5 or 6 years at $6M to $6.5M I don’t see VGK matching ….

    • Neal in Boston.

    • 3 of the 5 mentioned are former Penguins and all 3 should stay that way. Without trading Haglen it’s going to be hard enough to re-sign all the RFAs, if they can do just that then it’s been a productive summer. If they can get that young RHD on a entry level contract or a cheap bridge then the Rutherford gets top marks. No need to f anything up just to f it up.

  3. if the leafs sign Tavares they will do it for 7-8 years and then trade Nylander.

    Nylander is on the block any way, as is Jake and Conor Brown to get more grit in the top six wing, similar style to tom Wilson/Hornqvist, and to add another top 3 right shot Dman.

    Nothing will happen until they know where Tavares is going.

    • Puck22,

      I know I keep repeating myself in posts … but first order of business for Leafs should be to fix D

      To get a top 2D … wee Willy or MM have to go in the trade

      If a move like that happens with a notable top 2D being acquired …. this can only add incentive to JT for potentially coming to T.O.

      I still think it is a huge long shot for JT being a Leaf … highest probability is that he stays with NYIs

      However if he moves on … I see SJ and VGK as higher probabilities (as at now) than T.O.

      • 100%, only differences is I believe Leafs don’t do anything until they have heard from JT, and I don’t have Marner going any where, if you watch the leafs there is a gap between him and Nylander that will only grow as they get older and spend more time in the league, the fact some people/hopefully GM’s see them as similar in asset value to me only means Nylander is at his max value.

        I agree that NYI is still first, but hard to say whose second or 3rd, IMO the leafs are the same as the other two now roster wise and better over the course of a 7 year contract.

      • With all due respect to Vegas, they’ve played 1 year in the nhl. I’m not sold on them being successful last year is enough to say they’re already a perennial contender or playoff team

      • It would take a massive overpay to get Marner – so in short he isn’t going anywhere.
        Nylander, if you can add to him and get a 1-2 D then that deal would have been done already, the league probably isn’t hot on Willie

      • Why would they not go after Karlsson ? If i’m spending that kind of money on a player , and i already have a bonafide young superstar for a center , and my d corps is ok but not Stanley Cup contender defense , whh would i want another centerman ? If it costs you Nylander , Dermott , Liljgren , and some picks , then do it ? Are you going to be this young forever ? JT is not the answer right now ….if you had a solid 3-4 dmen and a good 2 centermen , then getting Tavares signed is crucial , because that will put you in the contender conversation. They have done things the right way up to this point, don’t get too greedy when things seem to be good , be patient

      • Ottawa isn’t trading Karlsson to Toronto, unless there is a gross overpay.
        Willie, Liljgren, Dermott and picks? Pass

      • Are you kidding? Nylander, Dermott, Liljegren and picks is a disgustingly high overpayment for just Karlson. Karlson had a bad year, I know the whole team did but that is a nice little investment in the Sens future right there for a guy who asked to be traded. I would take that deal and run with it if I was Dorion.

      • Are you kidding? Those 3 would barely start for EK! He will get a lot more than that if he is traded!

    • Puck, I highly doubt Connor Brown is on the block, not at his currently salary and term.

      As for JT, I fully believe the Leafs will make a run, but not up to 11MM. If JT wants the cash and a good shot at a cup, there are other teams that are better positioned right now then the Leafs. If JT wants to be a Leaf (Toronto boy) with him – a good shot at the cup, then they will work something out at less then 11MM. It may be subsidized by a Canadian Tire type situation. I hear the Leafs are meeting with JT today (Monday). If he meets with no one else after today, he’ll be a Leaf come Sunday.

      I don’t disagree Jake and perhaps Nylander could be dealt. Jake in my view will be dealt, Nylander depends on what JT does or how much he is looking for $$.

      JMO

      • I only think this way because he is the leafs forward with the most value that is also the most likely to be dealt, young guys, Johnson/Kasperi value isn’t high enough yet, Hyman has more value to TML then to any one else, Marner isn’t going anywhere and Nylander won’t be dealt unless we sign JT, to me Brown and Gardiner are the Leafs summer time trade pieces from the rester, I don’t see to many picks leaving the stable, if you want something you have to give something and the leafs have holes they need to fill, gritty top 6 winger, and top young right shot dman, I don’t see how they get that without moving Jake as the other guys will be rejected IMO.

      • I really hope the Leafs pursue a defensive option as opposed to signing JT but if JT is signed then I’ll be lining up to buy his Jersey ASAP.

      • I think there is a far better chance Gardiner is extended this summer than traded. Trading Gardiner doesn’t help improve Toronto’s D. Yes Gardiner has warts all players do, some just more than others but Gardiner is a solid offensive Dman that although not a stalwart defensively has improved significantly & logs huge minutes for Toronto. He has pretty much since he arrived.

        Trading for a #1 or 2 Dman isn’t easy. Most teams simply develop & fill the position from within or grab some UFA’s as able as the cost to acquire 1 in trade is significant.

    • Cant sign him for 8

  4. Re : Kunitz back in Pitts

    At $1M or less for 1 year…. a must signing …. tell me Kunitz not worth $300 K more to replace Khunukl (sp?)

    Just his presence on team is worth the extra $300K

    That said …. North of $1M and you are entering a dicey area

    Pens must shore up D …. and you know who must go…outside of any thoughts on Kunitz

    • I’d go as high a 2 mil for 1 year. If he comes cheaper great.

      • Chrisms

        Not saying Kunitz not worth nearing the $2M value …. just not a fit (cap space etc) at $2M for Pens… I think top threshold for go/no go by Pens is about $1.4’ish

      • Pens should move at least one of sheary or hags. Either one opens up space both opens up lots of space. Lose hags sheary and kuhnackel and add sprong kuni and ? (Minor league promotion or depth fa signing. Hold a mil to move hunwick. Sign a bottom pair d man. Sign a backup goalie with chops. Done

    • Hunwick

      • Now Now Chrisms

        Be nice … I don’t want to lose my breakfast

      • Why retain money on Hunwick when you can burry him in the AHL for pretty much the same cap savings and then if the injury bug decimated the d corps they at least have a vet they can call up?

    • Puck, I don’t see us getting that top two type defensemen as teams don’t give that up. I think Reilly is there and I get we need another. I’m not dealing Gardiner with Brown for a 3/4 guy and agreed Marner is going no where. So we’ll have to make due.

      JT makes perfect sense for the Leafs given we likely don’t get a 1/2 guy unless we really sell off the farm – which won’t do. Having three top end centres on the team is a huge positive. They can provide two-way dominance down the middle. Kadri at number three could put up very big numbers.

      We’ll know by Sunday for sure where JT signs. Not my call obviously, but I don’t want him at 11. Not saying he is not worth it, but it could really hamstring us at that value. I see NYI offering the most dollars, no other team comes in at 88MM. I also believe he does not sign in Long Island.

      Rumor has it, he wanted very much to be an LA King. Interesting that LA didn’t wait for an opportunity at him.

      • Nylander has to be involved in any trade to bring back a top 2 dman, or even a 3, Jake is a goner imo, I just don’t see the leafs resigning him to 6 or 7 year deal he’ll probably want 6M.

        Jmo

      • Nylander might get a number 4 dman, he is a soft player and is a no show when the game is big!

    • Striker, Jake’s talent is as good as any player in the game today. He absolutely does not lack talent. His hockey IQ or general IQ for that matter is a different story. Dubas is building a team focused on analytics. His mantra is Hockey IQ in everything he talks about. It’s the biggest reason I think Jake is gone, he is not a Dubas type player.

    • I want nothing to do with Kunitz at all. They are going to have trouble fitting all their RFAs in under the cap without trading Haglen. They have 9 mill in cap space and Oleksiak(2.5), Sheahan(2.5), and Rust(3) are going to take up 3 mill of that. I’ll take a very capable 12-13 forward in Kuhnhackle for 900 grand over old man Kunitz who is not known for his PK work any day. In fact I was playing around with cap friendly earlier and this is the best we could hope for.. https://www.capfriendly.com/armchair-gm/team/751771

      • Capable and kuhnackel in the same sentence?

        WHAMMY! You just blew my mind!

      • More capable than the husk that used to be Kris Kunitz any day and more affordable and with a lot less pouting included.

      • Really. Compare their stats and try again. And how can a Murray fan even try to call another player a pouter. Jeesh

  5. Rangers make no sense for JT, nor does the suggestion that he take a one-year deal from the Leafs or anyone else. He will go whee he think he can win a Cup in the next three years: so that narrows it down to Toronto and maybe two or three others…..but I agree that it makes little long term sense for the Leafs unless they also have a plan to improve a woeful defensive corps. Spending huge dollars on JT and leaving the team open to 6-5 losses, and playoff losses in rounds one or two, is not a great plan!

    • While I’d whole heartedly ageee that Tavares is not a fit in NY, how are the leafs 2-3 years from a cup? They’re losing JVR, and Bozak. And the defense won’t look any different next year. They haven’t made it past the 1s Round in 5 years only qualifying those 2 years. Am I missing something here?

      I believe the Leafs are on the right track, But I wouldn’t put them on a group of 3-4 teams that would be the only good fit. I think there are teams much closer than the leafs in the east. Boston, Tampa, would be a better fit. Out west SJ, Vegas, Nashville, Winnipeg. And a bunch of teams at the same level in both east and west.

      I’m not saying all of those teams could afford him without shuffling the deck a bit. But probably much closer than the Leafs at this point.

      • You have to consider the Leafs PLUS Tavares. Getting Tavares will also attract defensemen to the organization.
        Again, I don’t believe JT signs with the Leafs.
        Who knows what it takes to win the cup anymore? Vegas was three wins away from it and the Leafs on paper show better.

      • I agree Taz. But for that matter , why not the isles? Or Rangers, or ….

        Like I said, I think Toronto is on the right track. And anything and everything is possible. But realistically, they’re no closer than a lot of other teams and far from a narrow pack of 3-4 teams legitimately being contenders.

        Personally I hope / wish he ends up in Tampa. But it’s doubtful. I believe he’s staying put. Or better odds of SJ if he jumps.

      • NYR, I don’t disagree that we are no closer right now with Taveras then the Isles would be with Taveras and there are better fits right now in terms of cash and chance to win the cup then the Leafs offer.

        The ultimate decision for him may be wanting to be a Leaf. I say this as I don’t know why he would be on the Leaf list right now for any other reason. The other teams on his list are closer to a cup right now then are the Leafs- but the Leafs are on his list.

        I’m not going to make the ‘he wants to be a Leaf’ statement. But will make it on July 1 once he is signed by the Leafs – partially wishful thinking but also very likely IMO.

      • “Getting Tavares will also attract defensemen to the organization.”

        Just wondering, Taz, attract who,in what way and when? Once you factor in the salaries of Kadri, Rielly, Zaitsev and Andersen, and add to that what Tavares will command along with Matthews, Marner and Nylander, there won’t be lot left over to bring in high-level D. Let’s assume they sign Tavares for whatever he’s going to command, could they then afford to pay the likes of Carlson ($8 mil for 8 years) as a UFA D? And they still have to pay Marleau $6,250,000 for one more year, are on the hook for Kessel for $1.2 mil to 2021-22, and if they don’t bring back JVR and Bozak they need to find adequate replacements to replace those 47 goals, 50 assists and 97 points. If they DO re-sign them, it’s going to add considerably to any cap total that will take a huge hit from a Tavares signing.

        Nor do I think a Nylander alone will bring back a top pairing D from anywhere.

        Not trying to be a Leaf-basher or s*6t-disturber here, but even with the cap going up, I just don’t see how they could sign a Tavares in addition to all their other upcoming commitments and then see an immediate (within the next 2 seasons) improvement on their D corps

      • Ny4. Vegas has space to sign but would keep them from signing all the other key players from last season. I don’t see how they’re a fit but NY isn’t? Half their roster are free agents. Are they going to build or just try another year by paying a bunch of hired guns? They had 1 pick this year in the first 3 rounds. Their success was probably a bad thing.

      • Slick, how many of these young players acquired at the deadline and draft are NHL ready?
        Vegas can easily bring back most of these UFA’s and Tavares.
        Why would Tavares leave NYIs to join the Rangers at this point? We have a Barzal? We have an experienced defense?

        There’s being a fan….. but you need to take a look at this team with open eyes and mind. If NY truly wanted to jump in…. are they Bringing in Quinn? Are they trading their #1 d-man with a year remaining?

        The writing has been clearly on the wall for a year now. I spent 3/4 of last season arguing with Striker that I thought this was the direction they were clearly choosing.

        I believe I called it thinking of “Life after Lundqvist “. And that is exactly the direction they’ve chosen.

        They will be icing nearly the exact same team they finished with last year to start this year. They had some bright spots… Zibanejad, Fast, Kreider line, Georgiev, etc. but do you believe this team is going to be significantly better than the one from last year?

      • you make a valid point Geroge.
        Leafs would need to move players for sure, Nylander is a goner for sure and there is a market for him. They would also move out other salary, will probably cost some picks for someone to take Zaitsev off their hands or Gardiner would not be extended.
        Like I said, I don’t see JT signing in Toronto but if that were to happen there would a ton of moving pieces.

      • You may be bang on in that assessment Taz. But moving pieces out dictates that other pieces have to come in, and you have to think that, if the Leafs do decide they need to move out Nylander, Gardiner and Zaitsez in order to improve their team, it naturally follows that the other 30 GMs aren’t about to relinquish those “better” pieces for players found wanting in Toronto.

        There are no quick fixes as the Leafs well know from years of futility so I doubt Shanahan or Dubas revisit that road. The draft coupled with the odd UFA signing (that doesn’t blow your cap in one foul swoop) is the only way to go. Unfortunately for them at this juncture, they have to hope that there are at least 5 or 6 members of that Marlies team close to being ready to make the jump to replace Nylander, Zaitsez and Gardiner if they go and Van Riemsdyk and Bozak if they sign elsewhere because, now that they’re picking in the bottom 5th of each draft round it becomes a lot tougher to find the diamonds in the rough down there.

        Ottawa went through that for years and only this year, since Spezza was taken high, did they have a pick in the top 5. They got lucky with Karlsson at pick 15 and REALLY lucky with Stone at # 178 so it can be done.

      • Ny4. No, I don’t see any of this years draftees in lineup next season. And the guys picked up at deadline? Maybe Lindgren or Hajek make team out of camp. That’s why you plug a few needs in FA. Short term deals until they are ready. And no, they won’t have same lineup as they did at end of the year. For one, Shattenkirk will be back. Also, like it or not, Smith is still on team and reportedly has been working with trainers in NY since end of season. Life after Lundquist begins in 3 years buddy. Lol. Again, I’m not giving Rangers much of a chance for Tavares, but it won’t be because they’re further from contention than others. I also find it odd that you think Vegas should do what you accused Rangers of doing. They’ve only been in existence for a year and they already traded away draft picks. And no, mathematically, there’s no way they can keep all there best players if they added Tavares Go to capfriendly website. See for yourself.

      • They’ve only been around for a year…. okay, they also weren’t built around 17-18-19 year olds. They weren’t eligible to pluck players that young.

        Regardless of what some people’s opinions were prior, they built a pretty amazing team.

        Sure, without looking maybe they aren’t bringing back everyone….. this isn’t outside of the norm. As a ranger fan you’ve seen Dubinsky, Anisimov, Richards, Brassard etc be recycles with Stepan,!Nash, St Louis Miller , Hayes etc….. people flip players …. the cap insists upon it!

        Vegas is Not on the same boat as NY….! Take the glasses off. Ny has plenty of cap space and prospects but not much else. Shattenkirk coming back to save the day? Cmon man! I have more faith in Staal or Smith ( who’ve I’ve said aren’t interfering) . Adding a few Fa’s? A few?

        Ny has seen MUCH better rosters over the last 10 years. Teams that Beat Washesingtob , Pittsburgh in the playoffs…. they’re not there today. Tavares or not. And again, they’ve basically waived the white flag!

        I see them going after guys not being qualified ( Smith Pelly)!etc before they dive in the Tavares/ Karlsson sweepstakes.

        Get used to not diving in. ….. it’s a good thing …. really! I don’t want another repeat of 98-04.

  6. Re Dall and Karlsson

    Wow????

    They’d need to clear big cap space

    …. and they’d have to take BR as well …. not sure of Spezza’s contract clauses (Striker? George?) …. but you’d think , if possible … Spezz would have to go the other way … basically same hit as BR next year…. but one and done

    Would figure something like (or values similar to) Faksa+ Lindell+ rights to Nakushkin + pick coming back????

    • I seriously doubt there is ANY scenario whereby a) Spezza would want to be back in Ottawa or b) the fans would want him back – just 4 years after he publicly demanded a trade out of town.

      • Dunno George… that storyline seems to be a fit with what Ottawa is building right now.

  7. Everyone keeps linking the Bruins to Tavares. The only way I see it happening is if Sweeney moves Krecji or signs and trade with NYI where they send Krecji back the other direction.

  8. NBC Boston needs to Stop……Bruins aren’t going to sign Tavares or even be close to his expected money.

    • Cable, I don’t think it will happen, but if Sweeney is interested he could make it happen.
      I think it has more to do with JT than Boston.
      Sweeney was rumored to be taking calls on Krecji for the last couple weeks as many teams are in need of a 1 or 2C. Sweeney tried to dump Backes on them.
      The B’s don’t have a replacement for Krecji in their system so can’t move him if they want to compete for a cup.
      They simply move Krecji, they have a good idea what the market is for him. I like that idea as in 2-3 years we will have a serious problem up the middle. Problem solved.
      There are many teams that would take a run at JT if they thought he would come there. Even if they are “OK” at C. The center he replaces would be in high demand and those assets either help you now or down the road, depending on need.
      Having said that, I think JT stays in NY.

    • Fake news

      • I would say more click bait than the infamous “Fake News” BS.
        Hate that term.

      • Ray Bark, would you want JT in Boston at 11.5 for 7yrs? We can speculate the cap will rise, but as the cap rises high end player salaries rise with them. Find me another Bergeron at $6.875

      • I wish we could find another Bergy Caper! Like I said, I don’t think JT would come to Boston, but hey he is the only one not doing any talking on this subject so none of us know what he is really thinking.
        The way I see it the B’s have a 2 year window to chase the cup, 3 max with the current core.
        Chara is 41. Their 1C and 2 C are 32 years old with no replacement drafted for either unless JFK, Frederic or Studnika surprises big time. But I don’t see it.
        Tavares keeps that window open for another 6 years. Sure, go for it at $11M.

  9. Why does it always have to be about max dollars. If a player really wants to win they will take less money even if their agent and the union hate the idea. Sadly it barely ever happens. At the UFA stage most guys have made more money than they would have in a lifetime of another career. Yet so many don’t have their name on the cup. Guess it’s not as important as people think it is.

    • A big problem with this is the draconian rfa rules that keep players under team control until the are halfway or more through their prime. So when ufa comes up players need to take that opportunity to get that big payday… it could be their only chance and it’s often a way to try to recoup some of the money they lost by playing for less than market value when under team control

  10. I think part of the thought process on a 1 year deal was that he would get his 15 mill for year and then could sign a 7 or 8 year extension with them ..So instead of getting 8 x 11 from NYI = 88 – in essence the leafs could give him 14.5 up front and then 7 at 10.5 something along those lines to get the same money or even add a year..
    Not sure how realistic it is – I put the chances of him signing in Toronto at 30% and the Isles at 70% – there is no one else-he is a loyal guy so only way he leaves is for his hometown team…just my opinion..but I do put his chances at leaving better than those of Stamkos’…going to be a fun week!

    • That is not part of the what the reporters, at least the ones I have read/heard, have been saying, but is smart strategy on your end.

      This would present the leafs with a huge advantage, in essence they could sign him to a one year 15M deal, then the next day, as he’s there player, one year from UFA, extend him for 8 years at 11M.

      Vegas also has the cap space for a move like this, SJS doesn’t, and Bill Foley clearly has the money.

    • And if Tavares gets a career ending injury this year? I mean it’s not like the league has an issue with head shots or anything

      • Leafs sign JT to a 1 year contract for 15M July 2nd 2018.

        July 3rd 2018, Leafs resign JT to a 7/8 11M contract.

        He’s their player they can extend him one year before his contract ends.

        He doesn’t play until Sept.

        If McDavid had suffered a career ending injury this season is that big contract that starts next year void, as technically it hasn’t started, Im assuming no, this is the same thing.

      • Huh. I’m not sure the nhl let’s that through. It would circumnavigate the 8th year advantage given to the original team. But if it is a slick way around that go for it.

      • They wouldn’t be able to extend Tavares until January 1 if he gets a 1 year deal this summer.

  11. Chrisms

    I agree with your suggested moves .,. Will fit and hold the fort… but not enough IMO to get them once again to the promised land… 2nd round for sure; possibly ECF… but SC , IMO … no

    I know I get dumped on for my suggestion … but I do truly believe that now is the time to move Kessel …. max return

    Moving PK, Sheary (and maybe Hags), as well as you know who… will get in return (and/or freeing up cap space for acquisitions) of a top 4D AND top 6 wing and fair back-up to “push” MM

    Above moves and Sprong up…. IMO would have very close to projected production ’18/19 with Kessel in (my logic above based on contention that he’s at max ; will decline and quickly; with IMO max 80 points wherever he ends up this year)

    …. add to that a solid shored up D and a “motivated/pushed” better goaltending and I see a formulae for another SC

    • I doubt kessel moves now. It’s a bad summer for it. Too many wingers on the market lowering value and pens are still in compete now mode. Skinner kovy nash Neal Perron Simmonds patches to name a few. Unless pens get good value no point in moving Phil. And it’s a bad time to try for good value. My hunch is one of sheary or hags goes kuni comes and maybe a depth d man. I’d love to see a 1b goalie as we all saw how good Murray can be when he has to fight for his crease. But I expect Jarry and DeSmith are lined up for that role

      • Chrisms

        I believe Jarry will have a way better year in 18/19… was just not ready last year

    • The point of being a team in the NHL is to win championships and create long lasting legacies. It’s not to trade 1 great player for 2 mediocre players and a draft pick. That formula creates, you guessed it, MEDIOCRITY! Why would you tear down one of the best rosters in the league? They already have too many roster players. It’s stupid. Ride it out until it’s obvious that it’s over. Keep your good young players and sell off the guys who could help a contender win short term. Who cares if this is the best possible year as far as return goes for Phil Kessel? If you trade Phil Kessel then you don’t have Phil Kessel on your team.

  12. RE: St. Louis Scoring

    “Carolina’s Max Pacioretty” a slip or do you know something we don’t? Maybe just a Freudian thing?

  13. Ok I got one for everybody.

    One of my staff is your proverbial “armchair GM” and likes to throw around hinky/hokey massive moves/trades just to spur conversation or for Ships ‘N Giggles

    This mornings rant … basically was that JT would definitely jump at Toronto if he could be almost assured of a trip to SC in next 3 years…,

    His suggested moves…, wait for it….

    Mathews & Gardner to Arz for OEL, Perlini , Panik, Strome; 1st (’19)

    … then flip 1st (’19) and Panik; add Wee Willy and Tor’s 1st (’19) to Ottw for Karlson (no BR coming back tho)

    He feels that with stalwarts OEL and Karlsson on D … Freddie in net … and with youth movement in Fwds …. that JT would jump at this chance …. be the Captain who hoists Lord Stanley in Leafland for first time in 50+ years

    If all those moves happen and Leafs have JT; OEL; Karlson and Freddy with up and coming Fwds …, even with losing Wee Willy & AM …. that package is SCF bound IMO

    Not happening …. but a true poser

    See … he got me wondering

    • That’s a terrible trade for Toronto. Mathews is already as good as Tavares is and Mathews is going to improve. Mathews could be the second best player in the league in 3 years and I DESPISE THE MAPLE LEAFS so that’s hard for me to say. OEL is a fine player but he’s closer to 30 than you would like him to be in this trade. Strome is at draft +4 years and has not even proven he’s an NHL player yet. A draft pick is 5 years away from making any kind of impact. Perlini and Panik don’t push the needle for me. Dvorak and Chychrun maybe.

      • After that playoff disgrace by Matthews I might not be so high on him

  14. Lyle Arthur Staple tweeted last night Tavares List leafs, Sharks, Stars and believe the Bruins and Canadians and Vegas presently not on the list.

  15. just to clarify something on here .
    if JT were to sign a 1 year deal , he couldnt sign an extension until january 1st of following year .which would be 2019. so would leave 3 months of huge risk . of course that 3 months could be insured , but super costly.
    with guaranteed contracts tabled around 88 mil , cant see his agent pushing the 1 year.but stranger things have happened. i still see him going home to play.he has no loyalty to the new owners or management or coach of isles , no arena ,team needs lots of help.

    • @rocketpilot That’s correct.. cant sign until new calendar year from what I understand- its a risk- but the guy has 50 million in earnings and another 15 added…I don’t think he will be out front of the ACC panhandling- lol.. Truth is he played the whole year out in New York- and could have got hurt and been done? same idea- if we was really concerned he would have signed during the year.. Just my two cents…
      This situation is not like Stamkos- Stamkos was on a contender and offered only 8.5 million being wooed by his hometown team that was rebuilding.. JT was already offered 11 million? Why not sign? Is really looking for more money? I doubt it…he would be leaving a young team for his hometown team who we could agree is closer to a cup than the isles for similar cash…just seems odd. This one has nothing to do with cash..

      • Im assuming you are right on this as it makes sense, thanks for the correction.

        There is 3 months of risk then he can sign, I always figured he’d do 7 years, some one mentioned the 1 year and then long term extension, I thought if possible great idea.

      • yes , a 1 year deal then extended jan.1 is completely legal under current cba .reports of leafs pitching both 1 and 7 year deals. if leafs get him , someone is on block for a defenseman,nylander?kadri?both?

      • don’t think there is a rush to move anyone this year- unless they get him on the max deal…
        As much as everyone talks about having to sign Nylander, Marner Matthews.. they can wait on Nylander- just qualify him offer a bridge deal- he has to take or he sits… they could move kadri or Nylander potentially..
        just waiting for the big shoe to drop and everything else moves too..
        I see them moving JVR soon to so he can get his 8 year max-

      • The Leafs can’t afford Tavares, plain and simple. This idea of a 1-year deal and then having to go through the headache and stress of finding a new team next year is just nonsensical. Why would he put his whole life on hold for 1 season? Why risk a bad season or injury this year for a quick money grab? It just doesn’t make sense. The risk is far greater than the reward. He seems like a smart guy. I bet he takes a longer contract with a team that can afford to pay him. Sorry Toronto, just like every other trade rumor, this one’s not working out for you.

      • The Leafs could easily afford Tavares.
        If they sign Tavares they can trade Kadri or Willie, and there will be a very good market for either of them to get the good skating young defensive first, physical D-man that I see many Leaf fans saying they need on this site.
        Either of those guys will bring that back at a cap hit that is reasonable. Especially Kadri.
        Are the Leafs then a better team than they are today?
        I think so.

      • The problem with that ray is every other gm knows they can’t sign those guys and don’t get near the value! It’s happened a lot before

  16. San Jose wants to replace JT with JT

    • Nice one Caper

  17. B’s no Nash…..put something together with Krug and for Flyers Simmonds

  18. If the leads sign Tavares it will be a 1 year 16m/max dollar deal. Followed by an 8 year extension worth about 8m annually. At an 8m cap it long term, a player like tavares would be great to have in Toronto. Agreed that getting a top pairing D should be the top priority but let’s be realistic here, where are they getting it from? The doughty pipe dream wont happen and be would come in a year where leafs have no cap flexibility because of new Matthew’s and marner contracts.

  19. What is with all these initials? Not everyone knows who you are talking about. MB? Yes, Mark Bergevin. However, that is also Milton Bradley, the board game company.

    PK? It’s not Phil Kessel but PK Subban.

    Who is Wee Willy?

    JT, yeah, ok, Jonathan Tavares. Could it also be Jonathan Toews?

    Some of the others are very understandable but…please try to use last names at least.

    • I think Wee Willy is The one and only WEE WILLY WONKA. Last I heard Charlie is doing very well running day to day operations at the chocolate factory since winning the golden ticket.

      J.T… Joe Thornton?

    • I suppose some stuff is left to the imagination yankeezuluechoromeofan19 🙂

    • Yzerfan19

      Replacing JT with JT is Justin Timberlake for Johnathan (Taylor) Thomas

      PK is Petr Klima

      MB is Michael Buble

      Wee Willy Winkie … apparently he runs through the town

      Nash … as you may have figured out is Pluto Nash

      I’m sure you have already figured out that MM is Marilyn Manson

      and AM of course is Al Michaels

      Hope this helps

      • That’s hilarious.

  20. William Nylander for Colton Parayko. book it!

    • DaBlues

      I’ll book it… but it ain’t not happ’n’n

      I’m a huge Parayko fan but St Louis will almost assuredly not part with him

      If miraculously they do …. wayyyyyy more than Weeee Willy required

      I think StL would want to start with Marner … and more

      If it’s Wee Willy … then likely need to add Gardner and maybe a pick

  21. Here’s my contribution totrades that will never happen. IF the Leafs get Tavares – highly unlikely situation a best, they will need some cap and roster space. And they still need to improve their defence. So the suggestion is to deal with the Canucks. To Toronto – Tanev and Vancouver’s second in 2019 0r 2020. The good part of Toronto portion of the trade: Nathan Horton’s broken body contract. The ouch part is a roster player: Nylander, a prospect: A. Johnsson, and Toronto’s 1st in 2019 or 2020. Toronto’s fans immediately say no – Vancouver should make the trade for a bucket of used blade tape….. but once again if the Leafs get JT this would work. In Tanev, the Leafs get a much needed first pairing defencemean (with Reilly probably)at a very reasonable and for them afforadable cost give the millions they lkely will be giving JT. The risk Toronto takes is on Tanev’s health, but given he won’t be playing on nearly as bad a team as the Canucks, Tanev wont have to block nearly as many shots – which is how he has been injured so much the las couple of years. Anyways, it is not a trade likely [won’t] happen, but this or something like it is what the Leafs are going to have to do if they win the JT sweepstakes and make their defence strong enough to contend.

    • Thoughts.. would both Vancouver and Toronto not both benefit from a Tanev / Gardner swap? maybe a draft pick added or whatnot for whatever side you’re on .. but, overall?

  22. $84M for 7 years for Taveras and make him a Hab. C’mon Herbie make it happen. Your buddy Molson just needs to increase the price of his 2 fours to cover it.

    • Taveras refused to see the Canadians so there is zero chance he is going to Montreal.

      • They are one of the 3 teams with a phone interview that could turn into a meeting

      • Zero!

      • $84M/7 years and name a Molson product after him & he gets 5% on every one sold. Herb make it happen.

  23. Always loved the name sturm. Hope he coaches the pens wingers up good!

    • Wow I just saw the Pens re-signed Sprong and Simon to one way 2* 750 000$ contracts. That is good news cap wise they need both of these players. I had them bot getting a mill a piece. The next Sprong contract is going to be a killer though after he score 35 goals this year on Sids wing with Jakey on the other side.

  24. I believe if Toronto were to sign Tavares ,Austin Mathews would have a problem with it. He wants to be the guy and if Johnny signs there than Mathews would be 2nd fiddle. Leafs already pissed Mathews off once not sure I would do it again.

    • Obe,

      Austen Mathews is not Jack Eichel… Austen is aware of his talents and deservedly so ;but I don’t believe that he would have a hissy fit (like Eichel would [and does])

      JT in Toronto , would take a ton of pressure (on & off ice) off of Mathews …. and would benefit his game and development

      Would he be temporarily a little upset? Probably .. but only a little and short lived

      I still, however, think it is quite a long shot for JT in Toronto

      NYI most likely; but I think TB and SJ might have edge over Toronto if JT decides to move … both teams IMO have much better chance of SC in next 4 years than T.O.

  25. Pengy I may be wrong it’s just what I feel but I do know Austin was upset during the playoffs. Austin was on 2nd power play never got the minutes he felt he deserved and if they sign Tavares Mathews won’t be their guy. Babcock met with him later not sure how that worked out but the relationship is not the best.

  26. I found it intriguing (and humorous) that John Tavares met with the Leafs’ brass today followed immediately by the Islanders and Lou Lamoriello.
    Lou does like to stay on top of things, doesn’t he? Will this pattern hold for the rest of the meetings? Dallas, then Lou; Boston, then Lou….

    • Johnny, forget the nonsense of talking to the Leafs and then Lou. Go for the $84M/7 and a lifetime supply of Molson for you, the family and any Roumanian friends you may have.