NHL Rumor Mill – June 26, 2018

by | Jun 26, 2018 | Rumors | 101 comments

John Tavares begins meeting with other clubs, plus updates on Max Pacioretty, Artemi Panarin, Jeff Skinner and more in your NHL rumor mill.

New York Islanders center John Tavares continues his discussions with rival clubs this week in Los Angeles (Photo via NHL.com)

TAVARES WATCH

NEWSDAY: Andrew Gross reports New York Islanders center John Tavares met with representatives from the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday afternoon at his agent’s office in Los Angeles. “The San Jose Sharks have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday. By Wednesday, the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins will also make their pitch. Other teams may still press to be scheduled,” said Gross, who notes the Islanders will also continue to negotiate with Tavares.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights are among the clubs in a “holding pattern” waiting to see if Tavares will agree to meet with them. He speculates over the possibility of one of the teams currently in the mix asking Tavares if he’ll accept an “enormous short-term deal to see if he can win with a loaded roster before other players have to be rewarded.” Such a deal would allow him another opportunity for a major UFA payday.

THE ATHLETIC: If the Lightning are able to land Tavares, Pierre LeBrun believes they would have to trade out a significant player or two to clear sufficient cap space.

LeBrun’s colleague Arthur Staple reports the Isles are also attending to other contract business while their focus is on re-signing Tavares. They’re interested in re-signing UFA defenseman Calvin de Haan and are among 10 teams expressing interest in the blueliner. The Isles aren’t believed among the clubs looking at Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson.

They’ve also contacted the agent for St. Louis Blues goaltender Carter Hutton. Staple said they have little interest in trading for Detroit Red Wing goalie Jimmy Howard. Soon-to-be former Buffalo Sabres netminder Robin Lehner is too much of a wild card. Possible free-agent options could include Philadelphia’s Petr Mrazek or Colorado’s Jonathan Bernier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the wooing of Tavares could last up to Wednesday at least, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it stretches to Thursday or Friday if he doesn’t receive enough tempting offers. The fact the Islanders are still discussing contract with his reps indicates they’re still very much in the game and could be willing to match or exceed the best offers. They also have the advantage of being able to offer up an eight-year deal, whereas the others can only offer seven. Tavares could surprise us by taking a one- or two-year deal for a league maximum of $15.9-million per season but I think he’s seeking long-term security.

As for the Isles possible goalie options, I think they’ll push hard for Hutton. Bernier would be a better option than the wildly inconsistent Mrazek. 

HIGHLIGHTS FROM LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Montreal Canadiens went to left wing Max Pacioretty with a trade offer from the Los Angeles Kings sometime before the start of the second round of the recent 2018 NHL Draft. The offer included a contract extension, but Pacioretty reject it and instead changed agents on Saturday. Friedman still thinks Pacioretty wouldn’t mind playing for the Kings but would like to make up some of the money he left on the table on his current contract, which the Kings can’t afford right now.

There was also talk Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin was part of the proposed offer for Pacioretty but that was denied. The Canadiens are also believed to have interest in Carolina Hurricanes center Victor Rask.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m expecting Pacioretty will be traded soon. Perhaps it’ll be to the Kings, though that seems unlikely now. I can see the Sharks expressing interest if they lose out in the Tavares sweepstakes. 

The St. Louis Blues are believed to have interest in Buffalo Sabres’ center Ryan O’Reilly. Friedman believes the Blues might want to include forward Vladimir Sobotka as part of the package. He also thinks the San Jose Sharks could come calling on O’Reilly if they lose out in the bidding for John Tavares. The Sabres could be interested in Blues pending UFA goalie Carter Hutton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The O’Reilly trade chatter seems to have cooled since the draft weekend. The Sabres have likely set a high asking price for the center that interested parties seem unwilling to meet right now. Perhaps that changes once the Tavares watch has ended. 

Carolina Hurricanes left wing Jeff Skinner, who has a full no-movement clause, has provided the club with a small list of preferred trade destinations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on those destinations. The Pittsburgh Penguins are rumored to be trying to acquire him. 

The San Jose Sharks are believed close to contract extensions with center Logan Couture and winger Tomas Hertl.

If the Winnipeg Jets hope to re-sign Paul Stastny, Friedman feels they should try to move goaltender Steve Mason’s contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Friedman notes, they’ll have to include a draft pick or prospect as a sweetener if they hope to move that final year (at $4.1 million) of Mason’s contract. 

The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks could be looking at Minnesota Wild restricted free agent forward Jason Zucker.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Wild under new management, Zucker could be dealt if the two sides are unable to reach agreement on a new contract. 

UPDATES ON PANARIN, DUCLAIR, NASH, KHUDOBIN, THORNTON AND MORE.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports the Columbus Blue Jackets have received plenty of offers for left wing Artemi Panarin, who last week indicated he wasn’t prepared to discuss a contract extension at this time. However, they intend to remain patient with him. There were rumblings Panarin preferred to play in a big market such as Los Angeles, New York or Florida but his agent said his client doesn’t have a list of destinations.

If the Jackets do trade Panarin, Portzline said they’ll want one or two established player who can impact the roster next season. “Likely, the only trade partners who would take part in a “today” trade are the franchises that believe they could sign him to a long-term deal. So far, none of the offers from those clubs could be deemed a “today” trade,” writes Portzline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s also important to remember Panarin last week told the Jackets he’d be willing to open contract discussions in the fall. Unless they get an offer from him that blows their socks off, they’ll likely hang onto him and see what they can work out contract-wise in the fall. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Boston Bruins pending UFA winger Rick Nash has drawn interest from five clubs.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: With the Chicago Blackhawks not offering a qualifying offer for winger (and Laval native) Anthony Duclair, Pat Hickey wonders if he could be “coming home” to join the Montreal Canadiens and play alongside good friend and former Coyotes teammate Max Domi.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hickey seems to be spit-balling here, as there’s no indication the Canadiens are interested. Still, one has to wonder if they’ll consider it. He’d be an affordable option on a one-year “show me” contract. 

BOSTON HERALD:  Steve Conroy reports Bruins backup goalie Anton Khudobin intends to test the UFA market. The two sides could circle back to each other.

THE ATHLETIC: Michael Russo report sources say Minnesota Wild GM Paul Fenton  recently requested updated no-trade lists from center Eric Staal, defenseman Jared Spurgeon and goaltender Devan Dubnyk. It’s believed this was merely a formality on Fenton’s part.

 

 

 








101 Comments

  1. I’d be wary of trading for Panarin unless it’s a sign and trade. Otherwise somebody may end up with fewer picks and or prospects with nothing to show for it.

    • I really truly believe that the Leafs should look at the Stamkos situation and learn from how that panned out and where it left them sitting!

      I think it would be a HUGE mistake and sign Tavares to a long term deal at max money…or more money than they will pay Matthews..if they make Tavares Captain you can kiss Matthews goodbye to the dessert!

      I firmly believe that this would send a very terrible message to Auston Matthews.

      While the intentions are good the leafs just came of a Franchise winning year WITHOUT Stamkos and an albatrose of a contract to where as he looks like he is going to be in a serious decline by year 3 – 4 !

      Tavares is not sticking to THE SHANNAPLAN and building within ..its again trying to cut corners and win now …and is really starting to feel wrong to me especially after the AMAZING run of the Marlies …the Leafs have some diamonds in the ruff down there that will be legit high end players

      I think the Leafs were absolutely blessed but being able to draft Matthews and Mitch Marner as the TRUE core of this team and need to build around them…Nylander is way to soft a player to be an impact in any playoff race and he is the odd man out for a trade for a true and legit top 2 D man.

      The Leafs need to get rid of the worst signing since Dion and that’s Zaitsev …another agonizing 6 years on his deal .. W T F …and they gave Connor Brown only 3 years at $2.1 million after a 20 plus season BULL%$#@ what a joke !
      Gardiner has to go as well…

      If I had a voice id say pass on Tavares and upgrade size and grit on the wings top 2 lines bring up Holl and Rosen on D.. Johnson and make a serious play for James Neal..Alex Tuc or Wayne Simmonds instead of Tavares and go all in on Drew Doughty … VIA trade …sending Nylander and Liligren along with a first rounder !

      • @Kal Everyone would love to have more contracts like the last Tavares or patches deal on their rosters but it doesn’t work that way.
        Teams pretty much own a player till they are 27-28 and after that they deserve to get paid.

        Alex Tuch is going no where.
        Simmonds – get in line – 25 other teams want him
        James Neal? you’re calling Stamkos’ contract an Albatross and would rather sign Neal at 6M – 6.5M x 6?

        The message to Matthews for signing JT would be ‘We Want to Win’ if Matthews isn’t ok with that message then he isn’t a player you want to build you franchise around. My senses tell me he would be absolutely fine with JT on the Leafs.

        Sign JT, flip Nylander and picks/other roster player for D help.
        Tavares + D for Nylander plus – I’d take that any day. The logic behind signing Tavares is sound.

      • Should add that the Zaitsev contract is pretty gross, hopefully he can rebound this year to be the shot blocking and hitting machine we thought he was. I definitely share your hatred for that contract

      • I agree with everything you said, except foy your last remarks re: Doughty, who is nearing 33 years old, & his best years are behind him. There are better younger options that can be had with Nylander in the package.
        But to your point if the Leafs sign JT to a long term contract, it will require the tearing down a large chunk of their foundation.
        I could see only Marner remaining to sign to a big contract. [$20 + M for JT & Marner].
        I agree that Matthews will not want to stick around & play second fiddle to JT.
        Yes I’d love to see Gardiner get traded, but look at who they continue to draft; small, one dimensional D men.

      • @Kal El I was also under the expression that the Leafs signing Tavares would be a mistake. Until I read the part of your comment “I firmly believe that this would send a very terrible message to Auston Matthews.”
        Then I got thinking what would be better for Matthews development then to have a guy like Tavares to learn from for one season.
        Now I don’t think Tavares would want to sign a one year deal with the Leafs as they aren’t in the Cup contender category now, not until they fix their defence, and I think he want to be somewhere long term and will compete for the cup from now and to the end of his contract. Then again I also was saying that Babcock wouldn’t sign with the Leafs. So who really knows but Tavares and his people.

      • Sorry, that is supposed to be impression and not expression.

      • Very interesting perspective! Personally, Matthews is very Good, but is he a true leader? Also is he going to be one of these injury prone players? All he needs to do is look at the pens…. 2 number 1 centers in Crosby and Malkin. 3 cups later. If signing JT hurts his feelings then good riddance. I believe if he was to play in the West coast, a sunny state… you will truly see a superstar. Not in Toronto tho! The leafs need a good Canadian boy to captain the team… It not… a Swede. No American born player can truly appreciate what it means to play for Canada. I believe Stamkos was afraid of the pressure! I also understand what the leafs are doing. They have players from the Marlies that can make it this season that’s why they are not in any rush to signing their free agents. Bringing in some veterans is important. You can’t win a cup with just young guys.

      • I don’t get this hate for Zaitsev. He has 2 years of NHL experience & logged the 2nd most TOI/GP at D for Tor last season & was moved into a shutdown role after being deployed more as an offensive Dman in his rookie season.

        a 4.5 mil cap hit for a Dman playing the 2nd most TOI/GP on D over 22 mins a game is chump change in the NHL.

        Give Zaitsev several more years of development. Watch the cost to sign top 4 Dman keep raising & his contract will seem like great value. It seems like great value to me today. He hits, he blocks shots he’s sound defensively & as he showed in his rookie year can generate offence if deployed in that role.

        What am I missing? All you Tor fans keep complaining about your D & keep wanting to trade the few you have. Doesn’t make sense to me. Why do you think Edm paid such a huge price to get Larsson? Be happy with what you have & are developing as it’s significantly cheaper than going out & trying to buy 1.

      • I think adding a player of Tavares Calibre, while still getting some of his prime years at the expense of only cap space should be in the plans of any team that is within a window in which they can contend.

        I don’t really get the bit about learing from the Stamkos situation? Do you mean regret it from Tampa’s point of view? Stamkos didn’t have a great playoff but $8.5M for a player of his calibre is a steal in today’s NHL. Tampa having so many good contracts is how they have the flexibility to consider making a pitch to Tavares.

        In terms of adding grit to the wings, it was the Leafs grittier players that were their worst last year. It’s skill first, and grit and size is a nice bonus, but overpaying in assets of dollars for size needs to be avoided. Lucic was a top tier power forward, that turned out horrible. The Leafs could take flyers on some guys on shorter term deals and let other continue to develop, but in the long run they are likely least concerned about their wing position.

        I agree completely that their D is their biggest area of concern, and they need to make a decision on Gardiner. I don’t think you let him play out and walk like they did with JVR and Bozak, so they need to find his price, figure if they want to pay it, and either extend or trade him. Trading him shouldn’t be automatic since he is their 2nd best D, and isn’t nearly as bad as many perceive. He is extremely high end talent wise, and thinks the game very well, problem is the 10-20% of the time he is either having a brain cramp or over thinking things. It looks bad when it’s bad, but his positives far outweigh the negatives, also moving a D that plays over 20 minutes a night, and was successful in doing so, is a hard thing to do while improving your D. If he is traded, it should be to a team looking for more offense from the back end who does want to extend him and are offering up a good D (perhaps less offensively gifted) on a good contract. Something like Vacouver wanting a puck mover help get the puck to their young forwards. They could extend him immediately as part of the deal, and offer up Tanev. If Gardiner is traded, it really needs to include at least an NHL ready D coming back, and even then you still need to add another.

        Nylander and Matthews both had a weak post season, but relax, it’s 20 games. Saying either doesn’t show up in big games is just recency bias. Both have played huge on huge stages, and were easily their best forwards against Washington in the playoffs the year prior. IN fact, Marner played poorly then, and going into this season and early on, Marner was the guy they should give up on in many cirlces. Unless there is a deal for one of those top tier D man, you don’t even consider shopping either. You can’t force a trade for young D, it doesn’t work out trying to pry them out. If one is available, you make a trade if it makes sense, and for the right player, yes I would offer up Nylander if I am Dubas, but since those players don’t become available often, it isn’t as easy as just saying trade Nylander for a top pair D.

        I agree completely on Zaitsev. I hate his game. He plays so slow and hesitant. He isn’t a slow skater, but he never decides to do anything instinctively. Two years in the NHL and he gets beat to pucks constantly by slower skaters just because he hesitates to make a move, he keeps weird gaps, doesn’t defend the blueline and can’t exit or enter a zone with control. His contract is an albatross and I think rather than hoping his health was the only issue (it wasn’t he was bad in his first year too, just masked it getting secondary assits and PP time), I think you try and move it now banking on someone taking it because he’s 28 and a RHD. Perceptions of him are still mixed, take advantage and move him while you can.

      • @Striker, the hate for the contract is the length of it. He regressed significantly from his first year and part of Gardiner being terrible in game 7 was that Zaitsev was his partner.
        As fans we are pretty worried about 4.5M for another 6 years. That 4.5 could be used to sign others or upgrade at position with the extra money.

        Just because he has the 2nd most TOI last year doesn’t mean that it was the right deployment for him or that he is able to shoulder that load.

        In today’s NHL you need great contracts as well as players on their entry level contracts to win the cup, this upcoming year for the leafs is their best shot to win the cup (not saying they will) but with many players getting considerable raises there will be cap pressure and there is no telling when we become the blackhawks (without the rings).

      • @Striker, while i have your attention. I need some fantasy advice as well. I’m in a keeper league where I can only keep 1 of Marchessault, Marner, Kessel and Forsberg.
        Forsberg is the easy answer but there are a lot more LW out there than RW in later rounds.

        Sorry for the out of contect post everyone.

      • Wow – I’m glad you’re not The Leafs GM. The Shannaplan is to restock the shelves, to keep building from within so as to not sacrifice the future to win now. Signing a free agent at no cost other than cap room is not deviating from “The Plan”. If you have a chance to sign an elite player you do it. The point of signing Kadri to 4.5 a year was to be able to replace Bozak and still have room to sign the young guns when they come due.

        If they sign Tavares – great – they contend right away. If they don’t then they use the money on other needs (D-man like Doughty – if he leaves LA). The Marlies are proof that The Shannaplan has worked and is working but to not even make a pitch to a superstar is not just bad optics for the fans but for other players in the league.

        You do everything and anything to make your team better from mining the KHL and European Leagues, to scouting and signing the late bloomers in the NCAA, to properly managing your draft picks to ensure quality is reached via quantity (the more picks you make the better chance of unearthing a Zetterburg or Karlsson in late rounds). That’s the plan – you’r right – not to win now, and not just win later – WIN ALWAYS…

      • What’s the Shanaplan?

        Is it available in Hardcopy or paperback? Can I read it?

        What a joke!
        Draft and develop, shrewd trades and few but key UFA’s was the mantra of the Pens, Wings, Kings, Hawks. All successful with Championships to prove it.

        Don’t get it? What has the shanaplan produced? Outside of winning a draft lottery, overpaying a coach and 2 first round playoff appearances?

      • So Bcola – Brendan Shanahan is the current Leaf’s President. Because his last name is Shanahan people in the media and fans started calling his “vision” for rebuilding a suscessful Leaf’s franchise “The Shanaplan”. See? See how it rhymes? It’s a play on words. Are you picking up on the sarcasim? So there’s no hardcopy – just like those other teams you mentioned (Pit, Chi, LA, Det) – The Leafs are now trying to win multiple championships too – and you’re right – “The Shanaplan” is a plagerized idea, but I think the progression the team has made since he took over is coming along nicely and yes – the objective is to do more than a couple first round playoff exits.

        I myself am happy where we are compared to before he took over – hopefully we can end the drought – all we can do as fans is ask the organization puts us in a position to contend each year…

      • Tavares would be the number 2 center in Toronto, not 1.

        Matthews is number 1 and the gap will keep widening with JT almost 30.

        If the pens can afford Crosby Malkin Kessel Letang and Chicago can pay for Toews and Kane 10 Millie, I think Matthews and Tavares and Marner or Nylander would also be a fit.

        If they do sign JT long term, they would trade either Marner or Nylander depending on what D they get in return

      • Leafs need to stay away from Johnny T, unless he can play 25-30 on the backline.

      • The leafs need defense not Tavares, you can’t win with the defense they have they are pinned in their own zone a lot of the game and if Anderson isn’t absolutely standing on his head they aren’t winning. I think leaf fans are way over valuing Nylander the guy disappears in big/rough games I don’t think teams are gonna give up a top pairing d for him

      • Taz.

        Should need more info. What’s the format & scoring system?

  2. I was surprised that VGK wasn’t already on JTs current interview list

    Still think highest likliehood is still back with NYI

    • Tampa or Toronto

      Stevie Y has some magic happening down there.

      • DS

        The only thing holding up Stevie Y is Cap space and upcoming (this year/next year) pending extensions

        If he can work that … TB has to be the odds on favourite if JT moves …. of all current contending teams for JT…. TB is closest set to get Cup

        Add to that the city and weather and then the massive bonus of an EXTRA $11M in take home pay over the term of contract (over Toronto or SJ bids),… then TB has to be front runner

        Money isn’t everything for sure …. but if I’m considering highest chance of getting a cup AND extra $11M in take home pay …. not a second thought for me

        Just very skeptical as to what moves Yz must make to get the room

      • Pengy-Tampa has some easy to move assets. The key is future $ to resign Kucherov who is their most important player behind Vasil and Hedman.

  3. Saw that TSN had Parayko on trade bait board????

    Can’t see StL moving him… unless TSN knows something

    Other teams should throw the farm at StL for Parayko .,.. yes I’m jaded and biased … but I see him as top 2D for Can at next Olympics

    This is a golden opportunity for Toronto if Parayko avail.

    Wee Willy and Gardner ++

    or MM + Gardner

    For Pens …. GMJR sharpen your pencil

    StL wants scoring …. and since I seem to be the only one who sees a marked decline in Kessel this year…

    Kessel (take back $0.2M)+ TWSNBN (take back $1.1M)… net on Cap now zero …. now add Sheary to the deal and mid picks in ’19 and in ’20

    Pens to get Parayko + Kyrou (who will play in NHL this year)

    ….. GMJR …. make my day

    • From what I heard is the the Oilers were going after Paranko hard at the draft. There asking price was way to high and I’m glad that Chiarelli didn’t do the deal. I’m ecstatic that they got Bouchard.

    • Hunwick

      • Time out for Chrisms for bringing up something so sickly

  4. JT committed before July would be nice .
    I am sure Pacioretty wants 6 and change maybe 7m but not sure of term.

  5. Regarding ROR to the Blues—Is a package of Sobotka, Vince Dunn, and Barbashev OR Tage Thompson too much, too little, or just right?

    • iowa boy

      I think Buff will ask for a little more in a kicker

      Dunn, Thompson, Sobotka, plus 1st

      That is a high ask, but likely where they will start

      Not sure Buff wants Sobotka but would be keen on Dunn and Thompson (++)

  6. Previously, I said that the Skinner rumor is bogus because it makes no sense. Rutherford apparent agrees. He gave his offseason plan it the main goal is balance. You can’t have a more balanced team by signing another high priced contract. In fact, his own words are:

    “If we clear up more cap space, it may give us a chance to sign certain players to longer-term contracts. Then it would leave us some cap space to do something at some other time. Does it give us a chance to sign a bigger contract? Probably not.”

    • The Pens could trade Kessel and acquire Skinner, then let him walk at the end of the year. That would clear lots of cap space next year when Guentzel (and maybe Brassard?) needs a new deal.

      Not saying they will, but that would solve a lot of their issues long term without much short term drop off.

      • Yes, lose a 30 goal forward with no drop off? Yeah right. And it isn’t just goals. Kessel is one of the league’s best passers and the key to the powerplay. Then there’s his post season play.

        As the Rutherford comments suggest, even he thinks that your idea is stupid.

      • Skinner has multiple 30 goal seasons on his resume and plays LW instead of RW where the Pens are deeper.

        Thus, “without much short term drop off” while also clearing a big salary off the books for the long term.

    • THE Penguins don’t need Jeff Skinner they need some defense period….. Sometimes JR locks on somebody especially someone from Carolina..no Skinner…with the rumors of Minnesota danglIng Zucker, Coyle and Neidereitter much better fit there…

  7. Hard to believe that Leafs have a real shot at JT: if they do, then forget the re-build plan as it was and make changes in order to win now….if AM wants to go to Arizona, that will happen no matter what down the road. As for trading anyone, leave Mitch alone-he is the real deal and will get even better next year..Nylander is expendable largely because Johnsson can replace what he brings, with more grit. If Parayko is really available, the question is why? By the way, why make AM the captain? Why make JT? They did well with only Assistants..Make it AM, JT and Morgan. Trade Jake, give Zaitsev one more year to see if health issues make a difference bring up Rosen and let him use his skills to get better on D,,he has the offense to replace Gardiner!

  8. The Bruins are meeting with Tavares camp and of all the teams talked about, the Bruins get no consideration.
    They are the dark horse of the JT chase and if they win the prize they need to make other moves, which is something they can deal with later.
    What if they don’t win the chase, then what? If JT take his time and then some, which is should do until he is certain of his decision.
    Boston with $12m in cap space cannot negotiate with any of the big fish, no fall back of JVR or James Neal, Calvin De Haan got no play money.
    The longer the JT chase last and the Bruins are not informed they are out of the chase, the more it hurts their chances of getting another quality player.

  9. Really surprised by some of the players not given qualifying offers.

    I get what the Pens did, but I’d hate to lose Riley Sheahan.

    Assuming the Habs aren’t going to land Tavares (or Stastny even) they could hang around in the wild card mix by signing Sheahan and Bozak.

    Also, I’m the opposite of a Derick Pouliot fan but I’m even less of a Matt Hunwick fan. If they could sign Pouliot for less than $925,000 (I believe is the number) they can bury Hunwick in the AHL without affecting the salary cap.

    Of course, the Pens might be 30th on Pouliot’s wish list, so it probably doesn’t matter.

    Same idea with Dylan DeMelo, too.

    Get someone younger and better than Hunwick who will sign for less than the recovery amount of buried contracts and send Hunwick to the AHL, hoping someone will get drunk and claim him off waivers.

    • DeMelo will get picked up by someone as a solid 5/6.

    • I agree, very surprised by a # of players that didn’t receive qualifying offers.

    • MG

      Ditto on all your points— didn’t know that they didn’t qualify Sheahan??????

    • They don’t qualify and then can sign them for less than the qualifying amount like the Wings did with Frk.

      • They don’t qualify them because they can’t go to arbitration if they don’t qualify them. Most of not all will be signed by their current teams.

    • Pouliot got signed by the Canucks for 1.1. DeMelo would be good. Also Petrovic from Florida for the right cap hit.

  10. even with JT the Leafs won’t win anything this season unless they improve their defense. How JT earning $15.9M helps with that, I don’t know. Offense didn’t seem to be an issue for them this year.

    They should instead be offering the kitchen sink to Ottawa to get Erik Karlsson and extend him long-term. I doubt Doughty will become available at all, I see the Kings extending him long-term this summer

    • Karlsson isn’t a fix for any team needing help keeping pucks out of the net. Offensively he’s lights out but marginal at best as a defender

      • He’s all offense because that is what he’s instructed to do during his 25-30 min of ice-time per game – attack and counter-attack – something he’s damned good at.

        With his skating ability and puck-sense he could relinquish some of that to concentrate more on the defensive part of the game and do well at it. But that’s not his role and it’s why they are constantly looking for the “perfect” partner to play alongside. They (and I) though Claesson might be the answer – but after a decent 2016-017 season playing mainly in the 5/.6 and off 3/4 shifts, he failed badly beside Karlsson this past year.

        That’s why they let him walk because they have better options at 5/6 in Borowiecki/Wideman and better kids coming up the pipe in Chabot, Harpur, Wlanin, Jaros.

      • Weaknesses in Karlsson’s defensive game are massively overstated. Parts of his defensive game (zone exits, handling the puck in his own zone, steals) he is excellent at. He isn’t great physically in the corners or in front of the net, but he isn’t so bad that it offsets his defensive strengths. Overall I would say is defensive game was a bit better than average as zone exits are becoming more and more important.

        What really helps Karlsson is how little time his team spends on their heels while he is on the ice compared to when he isn’t. Overall, his skillset means his team gives up fewer shots and chances with him on the ice, than when he is off. That’s what defenders are supposed to do. I don’t care how they do it, and most GMs are starting to come around to the fact that they shouldn’t either.

    • mikeP

      They should also look in at moving in on Parayko— He would make a huge difference in the Leafs beleaguered D

      will take a bucket– but worth it

      Not going anywhere with current D

      • sorry should have said “not going anywhere near SC”

        Still progressing without change— but I can’t see a SC future w/o changes/upgrades to D

  11. ROR will be traded after the Sabres pay him the huge bonus or whatever it is, after next week he will be gone..

    In other news… if Joe Thornton really wants to win a cup he will take 1-3 million for one year deal so the Sharks can add more pieces. It’s not like he’s ever been a playoff scorer so that team needs help.

  12. Habs should be in a full rebuild right now their in no mans land. They have Price and Weber making huge dollars and nobody else to help win today. Move your stars for draft picks and quality young players and start over. Not sure what teams could afford them but Oilers sure could use Weber and Philadelphia has needed a goalie for over 10 years.

    • The same can be said for Boston they were schooled by tb and than tb lost to Washington, the bruins are in no mans land need to get rid of the likes of krejci, Bergeron and chara

      • Boston has a supporting group of young great players Jake, Carlo, Charlie, Ryan, Matt, Heinen, Marchand,Krug and more. Boston was on the wrong side of every call during Tampa series and they will be a playoff team for many years. Montreal not so much.

      • Get rid of Bergeron? He’s the best two way forward in the league and scored like a mad man this season. His contract, leadership and ability is among the NHL elite.

      • Wrong side of every call? Lol they were dominated by tb get the black and yellow glasses off

      • Just ignore bigbadbruinsbear. Hes obsessed with the Bruins and the Leafs.

      • Littlebear you don’t remember the slash on Marchand on a breakaway or Charlie being tackled behind the net that resulted in a goal. Roenick said it like it was was horribly officialled an embarrassment. Both those games would have went Boston’s way and would have went to game 7. Really not sure what this has to do with Montreal needing a rebuild. Keep Price and Weber and surround them with minor leaguers and see where that takes them. Bruins will be fine with their core for many years.

      • StupOBE complaining about refs when your team gets dominated 4-1 is very sad. When the bruins are paying krejci and backes big money it’s time for a rebuild! They have maybe 2 solid prospects only bruins fans and media will tell you different. The habs had one of the best drafts this yr a lot of scouts said along with Mets,juulsen, poehling and sherbak the habs are in good shape moving forward

      • Snicker

      • Babybear by the time the Habs prospects contribute Weber and Price will be grand parents and the seven dwarfs will be the silver seven. Habs have two players and both are coming off injuries good luck with your their in great shape.

      • Same with the bruins by the time those supposed prospects come into play beregeron marxhand will be drinking juices boxes at the adult day care have fun waiting! How many cups the bs got now they have been in the league as last by as the habs haven’t they?

  13. So John Carlson Stanley cup champ and top scoring d man received 8 million a year and people think Trouba is worth 7-8, I just don’t get it! I would never pay big money to a non scoring d man. I also would never draft a regular D man in top 15 of draft(like Leafs did with Luke Schenn for example)…Trouba is no Brent Seabrook in D zone.

    • Taz, fully agree with you on Bergeron. Amoung the best two way centres in the game.

      • Drop the “among” regarding Bergeron – he is the best two-way centre in the league. I could see Tavares and Bergeron together – they would put Boston over the top. The hard part of course would be how to make it possible. Maybe the Islanders would be interested in Krejci as a replacement for Tavares.

    • Just like the Sabres did with Ristolainen! Wasnt he a top 10 pick?

      • What’s wrong with Ristolainen? Have you ever watched him play shticky?

    • Trouba is 24. Let’s see in a few years who’s worth more

  14. could possibly see Mtl and SJ dealing…Pacioretty / Hertl ++

  15. I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again. All things equal, I’ll take a centre over a Defensemen any day of the week. A centre is the key to both the offensive side and the defensive side of the equation. Good centreman are hard to score against and significantly improve the defense. Quite frankly, a centreman’s job inside his own blueline is to play defense and protect the front of the net.

    With that, anytime you can get your hands on a top centreman and all it cost is money, you’d be stupid not to take a run.

    My point, the Leafs are better off with John T then going after 95-97% of the defenseman in hockey. Especially if the defenseman is going to cost you significant assets. There are very few defenseman I would sign over signing John T regardless of what the perceived need appears to be.

    With or without JT, the Leafs are well on their way internally correcting the backend – it takes time.

    For those above that are not fans of Zaitev, I know two that are. One is me, the other is Mike Babcock. Babcock does not play anyone who isn’t the best option on the team. Zaitev does alot of good things and is still learning the NHL game. Zaitzev is 1-2 in TOI, that says all I need to hear.

    Regarding Jake, I said this yesterday. His skill level is top end, his hockey IQ not so much. Even with a lowish hockey IQ, he still puts up the offense, that’s a testament to his high hockey skill. I don’t think the Leafs should extend him – IMO. Simply because they have so many like him in the system and I get they are not NHL developed. If Jake took a two year extension, I’m in – he won’t – why would he. Get something for him as he should bring in quite a bit as there are many teams that need what he brings. JMO

    • Trekie

      Agree in principal w.r.t. taking Cs over Ds (of relative same ranking— Top C over Top D etc)

      However, I do not see Toronto D as is developing into something that will be able to get them a cup.

      It IMO is just not there

      If Leafs could move right now in trade to get a key defenceman— that result could only add to the incentive for JT to come to Leafland.

      He has so many things affecting his decision of staying in NYI (chance of winning a SC, arena, ownership, players to play with, etc. etc.) vs if moving and on to where (city/place and how it affects him/fiance and his plans for a family [if planning]; extra $’s from sponsorship for being in a particular market; after-tax take-home; but a huge influence must be chance of winning a SC in city he is potentially opting for)

      Leafs with serious D upgrade would greatly improve SC chances— and that would have to be a great influence on him coming to Toronto.

      If it comes down to only a decision on which of the teams he is interviewing with that has the highest probability of a cup— then as at right now….SJ and TB must be viewed as better chances IMO

      • Pengy, there is no way to change the Leaf D by July 1. The sell is not what is in store this year, it’s a 7 year sell. JT will be a legend in Toronto (his home town) with a cup. JT with what the Leafs are doing and have in the cupboard could win multiple cups in Toronto over his 7 year deal.

        If JT is only concerned about this year, he would not have included the Leafs on his list and not wasted his and their time.

        There are no sure things in hockey, one thing that was a certainty is Pittsburg won two cups without a true 1-2 D guy. They had two elite and one great centre and built around that.

        Regarding your comments – you not seeing the Leaf D develop into a cup winner. I’m sorry, I don’t agree with what you are seeing in your crystal ball.

        Leafs are well stocked with young D. So much so that only 6 of them have to turn out. Reilly is exceptional and yes still makes too many errors. I’m hoping those errors start to reduce with his gain in games played. Dermitt was exceptional last year, granted with sheltered minutes. He can skate, has great skill and tenacity. And do you know what is even better – I was at 4 Marlie playoff games at the Ricoh. Dermitt played and was outplayed by Rosen. Holl was also very strong. Liligren could be exceptional in 3 years. Borgman is a huge physical presence, didn’t play much in the AHL playoffs due to injury, but he is exactly the kind of guy to fill the physical need on D.

        I like where our D is going and I like everything else about the team. I think JT does too. Come Sunday, we’ll see.

      • Hi Trekie

        There is many ways to change the Leaf D by July 1 and it could be done today. They just have to get a trade partner.

        St. L is looking for scoring and apparently according to TSN; Parayko is a possible trade chip.

        My suggested trade above would massively improve Leafs D and would go a long way towards a JT incentive.

        I’m not knocking the Marlies D– I too was at a few Marlies games this year including 5 playoff games. They are good.

        Again, this is only my opinion, but I don’t see what Leafs have now up or down to be what they need on D to win the cup sooner than SJ and/or TB.

        Regardless of whether Pens had a 1/2 D or not for their SC wins– that is a perception issue and I can value someone else seeing that.

        However, looking at the D as a whole in both recent Pens cups… IMO a substantial upgrde collectively to what Leafs have now… and IMO better than what Leafs/Marlies D could develop in to… just IMO

        I’m sorry, but I just don’t see eye to eye with you w.r.t. Zaitzev and Gardner

        We’re just armchair GMs here– and that is my opinion.

        Remember, I’m apparently the only guy that sees Kessell about to decline in production… so I’m open to be proved wrong.

        Would love to be proved wrong re: Leafs D— it’s my home town and I’ve been waiting 50+ years… I’m eager and waiting

        I truly believe that a Leafs with a player like Parayko on D could very well be a “straw that broke the Camel’s back” w.r.t. a decision point on whether JT comes to Toronto.

        I still believe highest chance is NYI but if he’s moving for attaining a cup sooner — SJ and TB are closer than Toronto IMO

      • Jt wouldn’t put the leafs over the top, they need defense and it would cost Marner to get a top pairing guy not Nylander everyone can see how soft a player Nylander is

    • Re : Mike Babcock always plays the best option .
      Hahaha , your kidding right ?
      Roman Polak was the best option in what way ? Now or future with such studs waiting on the marlies ? Roman Polak . Zaitsev is soaking up ice time , and leaf fans and striker argue that makes him valuable . Not hard to see why they are among the worse in shots against / high danger up there too . If Freddy doesn’t again provide the best goaltending in the league , with the quality and quantity faced included the leafs will struggle to make the playoffs , let alone win the cup .

      • Striker uses stats for everything that helps his argument

  16. George.

    Ottawa has let Cleasson walk?

    • Striker are you asking or noting that Ottw has let Cleasson walk?

      If letting him walk —WTF?

      • Doesn’t the question matk make it…asking?

    • I was surprised by that too. The qualifying offer would have cost next to nothing and he was a rebound candidate that would have been cheap (<$1M).

      I've heard arguments that they had too many 5/6D signed to one way deals given Harpur got a 2 year, one way deal. However, you could still send him to the minors if he isn't ready and it wouldn't count on the cap.

      That being said, Wideman was a great signing at $1M for next year. He could get 25-35 points if he stays healthy and is a good puckmover.

    • Pengy, I didn’t know you are from Toronto. To me, that gives your opinions on the Leafs more credibility as I assume you watch them alot vs do the stat thing.

      One more comment around the ‘perception’ of Pittsburg D and whether they are better or worse then any other D including that of the Leafs. Pittsburg’s D is greatly enhanced by the strength and experience of their centermen. My first point in my post a few comments up.

      Regarding Tampa, they have a huge edge over Toronto this year. Most of their D is UFA after this year and Kucherov is RFA. Tampa has an advantage over TO this year and maybe next in wooing JT – I think years 3-7 are advantage Toronto.

      You and I will agree to disagree with Toronto’s D and their potential including Gardiner and Zaitzev. I’m good with that.

      • Both zaitsev and gardiner are number 4dmen at best! The leafs need an upgrade or they will waste their forwards

    • Bear, I’ve never said Gardiner or Zaitez are 1-2 guys. Let me tell you a bit about what the Leafs are developing on their D side by way of who they are drafting. Fast staking, high hockey IQ type guys.

      If you watch Dermitt’s game, no idea if you have ever watched more than Leafs vs Boston but I digress. What Dermitt does is he pressures the man at all ends of the ice. He presses against wingers in the neutral zone. He gives no room. He’s still 21 and will fillout. He is smart enough to be in the right spot at the right time and more than fast enough to not get beat. They have a multitude of this type of player in the system already and have drafted 3 more like this during this current draft.

      This is where our defense is headed. They really don’t need to deal right now as their core forwards are still 21 and under and our defense from within and from what we have brought in from Europe and KHL will make up a very strong hard to play against D for years to come. They just aren’t ready yet and don’t need to be until 2020 when their forwards will be ready.

      Regarding your comments above about Nylander, his softness is a function of his age. You mentioned he’s not a big game player – you do know he won the MVP at last years World Championships leading Sweeden to Gold?

    • The daily comments about Toronto’s apparently poor defence corps has not mentione players currently with the Marlies. There are defencemen there that will challenge for spots with the Leafs in September.
      Draft and develop – a phrase that is used a lot these days. Well, the Leafs have been drafting (and signing) and developing defencemen. There will be changes on the back end for Toronto next year and I think at least a couple of them will come internally.

      • Rosen played lights out in AHL playoffs,he should challenge top 6 defense with leafs come fall and liljegren could make it too.

  17. Pens extended Rust– 4 @ $3.5M … good signing — I would have thought closer to $3.0 but good that they him locked up.

    Remaining to extend (as in fact they did not as I see on TSN now, qualify Sheahan [also Khunakl and Rowney]) is only Oleksiak

    • pENGY I Loved Sheahan but that frees up $2.075 million… maybe he resigns for less… kuhnackl played hard and Rowney as well but

      • black n gold

        Would still like to have seen them at least qualify Sheahan at same— I think he’ll get that and more from one of the other 30 teams

        $2.1M was fair for what he gave— was always able to bump to C3 whenever needed. Big size and grit.

        There is $2.25M on the D that absolutely needs to be freed up— no ifs no ands no buts

        And I tragically heard on the radio this morning that GMJR had actually reached out to (or was expected to reach out to) Jack Johnson’s agent…… Nooooooooo— Pens will end up with a TWSNBN#2— and at a much greater cap hit. AAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHH

        Many many options out there better than Johnson and at much less than he is going to be firm in asking for.

        I know he got massively burned by Psycho dad and has basically nothing— and will be trying to recoup a lot back in this next contract— it just should not be Pens that are helping him out finanacially

        I know that Crosby is his friend— but if Crosby is pushing this— then he (Crosby) is no longer my #1 on my list of potential future son-in-laws!!!

      • Hunwick

  18. Thats smart of the Wild. Let Zucker walk but keep old overpaid dinosaurs like Parise, Koivu, Cullen and Winnik. That is why the wild can’t get pass the 2nd round.

    • Mastermind
      If Wild did not qualify Zucker, I would expect Boterill to be making a call to his agent.

      • I’d say a lot of GMs will be calling. Zucker scored most of his goals in the ‘dirty zone’ he has two way abilities. Fits pretty much any team’s 2nd and/or third line.

  19. Senators are buying out Alex Burrows.

    • The one they need to buy out is Gaborik – but I suppose they have to wait until he’s been medically cleared.

  20. OMG …. Bettman was inducted into HHOF

    I was so happy to read that Willy O’Ree was going in then I heard Bettman got in as well

    I had to look it up and then actually play the clip of Lanny doing the announcements to believe it

    Wow is all I can say

    • Bettman deserves it.

  21. I agree, he has grown the league quite well…but I still think hes connoisseur of cheese!

  22. Can Toronto offer 15.9 million over the first year and 10 million per for 6 years after and with the salary cap going up say 2 to 3 million per year, the leafs would have plenty of room to fit Matthews and Marner under the cap. Am I wrong?

    • Whatever they offer him has to be split evenly over the years of the contract for the cap hit no matter what he gets each year.

      • It would still count as 10.8 for 7 years to the cap

      • Thanks for the clarification.