NHL Rumor Mill – June 28, 2018

by | Jun 28, 2018 | Rumors | 102 comments

Updates on John Tavares, Ryan O’Reilly, Artemi Panarin and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

Free agent center John Tavares could decide on a destination by Saturday (Photo via NHL Images)


SPORTSNET: New York Islanders center John Tavares has completed his free-agent interview process. He don’t intend to meet with any more clubs after holding interviews earlier this week with the Islanders, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun expects Tavares will take some time to absorb all the information from those interviews. He speculates a decision could come as early as Saturday. The UFA market opens at noon ET on Sunday, July 1.

Bob McKenzie feels the Tavares situation is complicating things for Toronto Maple Leafs free-agent left wing James van Riemsdyk. Several clubs thought to have interest in van Riemsdyk are also in the Tavares sweepstakes.

NEWSDAY: Andrew Gross reports Tavares’ decision will have a trickle-down effect throughout the league. Unsuccessful bidders for his services could be forced to look elsewhere via free agency or trades. Once Tavares makes his decision. the stock of pending UFA centers such as Winnipeg’s Paul Stastny and Toronto’s Tyler Bozak should rise.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple examines the Islanders’ options if Tavares decides to sign elsewhere. With 13 players under contract and over $32 million in cap space, they could target free agents such as Stastny or Bozak, or pursue a trade for a center like Buffalo’s Ryan O’Reilly.

BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont wonders if the Bruins could move David Krejci and/or David Backes to clear cap space if they win the Tavares sweepstakes. Krejci has three seasons left on his contract with an annual salary-cap hit of $7.25-million and a no-movement clause. Backes also has three years remaining ($6 million cap hit) and no-movement protection. Their clauses changes next summer to modified no-trades.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And now we wait, thankfully for not very long. Media consensus has Tavares re-signing with the Islanders but he could surprise us by opting to move on. If he does, I think he’d join the Sharks or Lightning as they appear the best options for him to win a Stanley Cup in the near future. Can’t rule out the hometown pull of Toronto. Once he makes up his mind, we can probably expect more activity in the trade market. 


TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Montreal Canadiens and St. Louis Blues remain interested in Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly. What could give the Canadiens the edge is they’re willing to acquire him before July 1, meaning they would have to pay his $7.5 million signing bonus for 2018-19. LeBrun said he’s heard the asking price is “a first-round pick, a second-round pick and a very good prospect.”

FRS HOCKEY: Chris Nichols cites Darren Dreger telling Buffalo’s WGR 550 yesterday that the asking price for O’Reilly could increase beyond July 1 if the Sabres end up paying that signing bonus. He also said there’s a belief the Carolina Hurricanes could be interested.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen intends to meet with winger Artemi Panarin in Europe next month, not to beg the winger to re-sign but to plot out a strategy for dealing with next season (possibly his last in Columbus) with minimal distractions.

“This would seem to suggest that Kekalainen is not expecting to trade Panarin this summer, but rather let him play into the final year of his current deal, which pays him $6 million per season,” said Portzline, who adds that could change if Kekalainen gets an acceptable offer. So far, all he’s received are offers including draft picks and top prospects, “not players who would help buffer the loss of Panarin’s offense from the lineup.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The sooner Tavares reaches his decision, the sooner perhaps O’Reilly’s situation is sorted out, which could also come as soon as Saturday.Given the Canadiens’ dire need for quality centers, I think Bergevin will be willing to meet that asking price of a first, a second and a prospect for O’Reilly. 

As for Panarin, he could still sign with the Blue Jackets. There’s some speculation that re-signing his buddy, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, could affect Panarin’s decision. There was also talk he wanted to move to a bigger market to help his girlfriend’s modeling career, but his agent said she hasn’t modeled in three years and has no plans to resume that career. 


THE ATHLETIC: Scott Powers reports the Chicago Blackhawks are targeting more experienced goaltenders for their backup spot. “The Blackhawks have at least reached out to unrestricted free agents Jonathan Bernier, Carter Hutton and Cam Ward, according to a source.”

TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes Chicago is the likely destination for Ward. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Powers notes, even if Blackhawks starter Corey Crawford is healthy and ready to go next season, they prefer having a more seasoned netminder as his backup. Ward could be the best option on a reasonable one- or two-year deal. 

THE PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports the Vancouver Canucks reached out to Toronto’s Tyler Bozak and Boston’s Riley Nash during the free-agent interview period. They could also have “some level of interest” in Carolina’s Derek Ryan or Washington’s Jay Beagle. The trickle-down effect of UFA stars John Tavares and Paul Stastny could push up the cost of signing one of those aforementioned centers. 

NJ.COM: Chris Ryan wonders if former Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik might become a free-agent target for the New Jersey Devils. 



  1. Just a thought….I think at this point it’s to Botterill’s advantage to wait till JT makes a decision as maybe a team or two that are in on JT and lose out might swing their interest to ROR. If I’m Montreal I push to get the deal done now as it’s been said the 7.5 mil signing bonus isn’t a problem to the team. I personally prefer Montreal only because that is the best chance for getting the highest 1st round draft pick and I wouldn’t go for a lottery protected pick.

    • No way the habs can not protect that first round pick . But it is MB lol.

    • Sabres need wingers not a high pick. Whoever offers up a left winger that can play with Eichel + a high pick. The worst that can happen here is that they keep ROR and put him on left wing with Eichel.

      • Just my opinion but I think the reason for trading O’Reilly is because the dressing room is split between Eichel and O’Reilly which is probably why a captain has not been named. Dollar to a dime once O’Reilly is traded the “C” goes on Eichel’s jersey.

        Hanson I agree with you but if the story at the draft is true and Botterill had O’Reilly traded for 11 or 12 and 2 other draft choices that tells me Botterill just wants to get O’Reilly off the team.

        Maybe he has other trades in the works for a winger or come Sunday he has a UFA in mind. Botterill plays it close to the vest where Murray was pretty open with his intentions

    • Len – I agree, I think he wants to move ROR and will by early next week

    • If Toronto doesn’t get the chance to sign JT, could they consider a trade with buff to send Nylander and Gardner for ROR and Ristolainen. Buff gets the Nylander bro’s together and dont pay ROR’s 7.5 mill bonus??? Thoughts….

  2. Lyle,

    Thanks re pointing out that NYI has to strategize on a C in case JT moves on

    I have been so clouded in where JT might go that I forgot (even under my stronger assumption of him staying) that he could move on …, leaving NYI scurrying for a centre

    In essence they are competing for JTs services while simultaneously having to explore the Statsnys and RoRs etc

    ….. this Captain Obvious was oblivious on that point… Doh…. got to have my Tim’s now

    With that in mind …. and knowing word gets around …, how does JT feel (affected) when he will hear of any discussions of Lou/Statsny Lou/RoR etc etc?

  3. In the unlikely event JT opts for the Lightning, the Islanders might well be able to acquire Tyler Johnson, if all could be done before the Cinderella moment before his no-trade kicks in. Or arrange a sign and trade with a couple of other pieces involved. Two pragmatic guys like Lou and Steve might get stuff done that other GM’s couldn’t pull the trigger on — it is even plausible that both clubs could end up better though tougher for the Isles. A little remarked issue is that it’s probably time, with his accumulated injuries, for Stamkos to move to wing…who is capable of centering he and Kucherov, and providing the required defence on such a line?

  4. A first, a second and a good prospect for O’Reilly? That seems excessive.

    Hopefully the Sabres have Marc Bergevins number. They could probably get him to add in Patches or Price too.

    • Matt Duchene moved for Samuel Girard; 2016 2nd round selection 47th overall, Vladislav Kamenev; 2014 2nd round pick 42nd overall, and a 2018 second-round pick from the Predators, as well as Andrew Hammond, Shane Bowers; 2017 1st round pick 28th overall, and 2018 1st round pick; Jack Hughes? and third-round picks from the Senators.

      I believe your opinions of Duchene, Barrie, Sakic & Colorado were anything less than flattering!

    • Maybe two seconds and prospect…anything more…leave him in the lost city

      • Or the Sabres can just turn to another club that offers more (i.e. St. Louis, Carolina, San Jose). See, that is the beauty of a market, where first and second line centers come at a premium and are in high demand.
        A trade with Montreal makes very little sense for Buffalo unless Montreal overpays. A First, Second, and a prospect is the price now supposedly…you can expect the prices to go way up after July 1st. Whether O’Reilly is actually worth that is immaterial.

    • If MB pays that price , and the Habs poop the bed next year, and Buffalo gets the 1st overall pick next year ….can you imagine the Sabres with 2 Jacks playing center ? Eichel and Hughes ? The Bell Centre will burn to the ground with Habs management in the building….If Molson agrees to this he may go down with them too

      • Ottawa is going to win the lottery. Colorado is going to get to draft Jack Hughes & Dorion is going to be fired! Hahahahahaha but hey it’s all good they got Brady Tkachuk & were forced to trade Duchene as he wouldn’t sign in Ottawa.

    • Yes right and the keys to the bell centre as well I want whatever u r smoking

  5. Trade Stamkos..but who would take him? Bolts are not going to get better over time unless they make some moves….. If Leafs don’t get JT, do they sign JVR? Go all in for a defensive help trade? Hard to tell what this team is doing to improve chances for lengthy playoff run.
    Why the chase after ROR? I don’t see the fuss……but Panarin would be a great capture for the Habs or any team….

    • Why? Young players develop & most continually get better for 4 to 6 years from entering the NHL. Is Point not going to get better, Sergechev, Vasilevsky, Ciella, Gourde, the numerous prospects coming?

      Will the players added late at the trade deadline, Miller & McDonagh not better adapt to the system with a full training camp to adjust to the new system?

      If I have to pick a cup winner today same as last summer I select TB without Tavares. This team has a ton of depth, a solid prospect pool & Yzerman has shown himself to be exceptional at drafting & building a winner. This is a cup contender for at least the next 5 seasons as constructed today.

  6. If Tavares wants immortality he’ll sign with Toronto. It’s the one thing Toronto can offer that the other 5 teams can’t.

    • And a ruined career.
      Don’t forget that point.

      • How is it any less ruined with the other 5 teams he is considering? The other teams will all have to shuffle the deck to varying degrees with dollars and personnel to make him work.

    • He wants to win…and that is in Toronto or San Jose..

      • If he wants to win in Toronto he better hope Toronto vastly improves their D because the D isn’t winning anything

      • Lets all remember that none of the teams he is considering made it to the finals this year. Nobody picked LA when they finished in 8th place the year they won the cup. He is gambling as much as anyone else. How many picked Caps and Vegas for SC Final? There are no guarantees.

  7. I’m not a big fan of Larry Brooks, but interesting tweet… He asks why, after countless hours talking to Lou, Isles need to send entourage out to L A for meeting with Tavares? I think writing has been on the wall since draft. If Isles thought they where keeping him, they would’ve been looking at making a trade to improve league worst goals against. Instead they used draft picks. Personally, I think they’re in a big rebuild now. Remember, with Tavares, they only finished 3 points ahead of Rangers..I’ll go with SJ as likely landing spot. Tavares got engaged last year and spent summer in north Cal. My guess is they’ve decided to live there. With future wife and family involved, you can throw Hockey logic out the window. He’s heir apparent to Thornton

    • My thoughts exactly.
      Still hoping for Boston though.

    • One reason for heading to LA to meet with him again is to get the last look at what other teams are offering, or at least trying to.

    • Aren’t you the same guy who had JT going to the Rangers? The pro Ranger anti Islander sentiment is exhausting.

      • Bretzke I don’t understand how wanting your teams best player is anti-islander…I’ve always prefaced my comments on the fact that I didn’t think the Rangers had much of a chance. If you find my comments exhausting I suggest you skip passed them

    • My thoughts as well lol, I believe the wifey is making the decision in this one…though I hope Toronto gets him.

    • Despite new GM and Coach, the Isles had 9 years to surround JT with talent. Sure they added one here or there, but at the end of the day there was not a decent starting goalie, a building or a plan, and the Leafs were much further ahead on the their rebuild at this point.

  8. Guentzel Crosby Hornqvist
    Hagelin Malkin Kessel
    ZAR Brassard Sprong
    Simon* Sheahan Rust

    Dumoulin Letang
    Johnson Schultz
    Maatta Oleksiak


    I like it.

    They definitely need to add one more forward to the mix and I’d like to see them sign a veteran backup for Murray, allowing Jarry and DeSmith to play in WBS.

    Chris Kunitz would be a good fit for that 13th forward (13 goals playing less than 12 minutes for TB last year) but Mackey says he has better offers than the Pens already and him signing here is unlikely. Then again, Mackey also said that Kunitz only wanted to play for TB or PGH a day earlier, so who knows.

    Unlikely, but I’d actually like to see them make an offer to Ryan Reaves. Platoon him with Simon.

    • MG

      agree on Kunitz nice fit re depth …. would have to get him at $1M-$1.2(max)

      I’d move Hags to free up space in order to try and aquire a much better winger for Malkin …. Skinner???

      In my heart … Jarry bounced back and is a solid back up this year

      Where I strongly differ from you is JJ as a top 4 D

      Unless something radically changes (and as a Pens fan I’m hoping for it) …. JJ is basically a 7D (on par on JJs good days) with Ruhwedl

      I’m hoping and praying I’m wrong .., but if he plays like most of last year …. he is absolutely on par with the dead weight traded to Buff

      There were games in which JJ was fine ; but so many more that he seemed lost, out of synch, out of position , and turning it over at costly times

      JJ …. I challenge you to prove me wrong

      It will be well worth eating my words

      • That’s Jarry bounces back not bounced back

      • Just because a Dman plays on the 2nd pairing doesn’t necessarily make him a top 4 D. Methot played with Karlsson on Ott’s 1st pairing but that didn’t make him their #2 Dman.

        Teams with really solid depth at D will role 3 balanced pairings & 5 on 5 the ice time can be very similar, what really differentiates who is what is what special teams they man.

        If you need to rank players than TOI/GP followed by the addition of PP TOI/GP & SH TOI/GP has to factor in.

        Johnson isn’t a #7 Dman. Ha-ha! I don’t know what Johnson did to lose Trotz’s faith but it doesn’t take much. Prior to getting benched he played as Clb’s #3. Johnson used to be an offensive Dman but as Jones & Werenski were added & like many Dman as they age they start to adapt to a more defensive role.

        Baring serious injuries on Pit’s D next season if Johnson is actually signed he will complete the 2018-19 season right in around 4 or 5 with under a minute less ice time played per game than Schultz at #3 in TOI/GP. He will man the 2nd PK unit & take the 2nd hardest defensive assignments after Dumoulin 5 on 5.

        5 years at 3 to 3.5 is OK, maybe not ideal but Johnson’s style fits well in the way the NHL game is transitioning to puck possession speed. He can skate, a good passer has offensive skills but has improved defensively. He’s prone to some errors defensively but he can play 19 to 20 mins a night for Pit.

      • “There were games in which JJ was fine ; but so many more that he seemed lost, out of synch, out of position , and turning it over at costly times.”

        Well, they said they wanted someone who could reduce Letang’s minutes so…he can fill that role.

        I haven’t done much “eye test” on Johnson lately, so for all I know he might well be washed up, but…

        1) I don’t care about his Corsi or any of that. Most of it is bunk and no one’s numbers could have looked worse than Schultz’s before Gonchar got ahold of hiim.

        2) I don’t care that he was scratched by his coach. So was Ian Cole. Cole being scratched had little to do with his play, but that was the impression around the hockey world and his reputation suffered.

        What I do care about are his tools…can he still skate? Can he still hit? Can he still shoot? If the answer to any of these are no, THEN I’ll question the signing.

        PS- Take a look at the list of UFA D men. It’s repugnant.

        Johnson could end being a steal. And worse comes to worse, he can be bought out with a compliance buyout after the next lockout.

    • How is Pit getting Desmith through waivers?

      I agree with you. Pit is a solid team, elite & still a serious cup contender. Now if we could just get rid of this stupid bracket playoff system.

      • Honestly, I hadn’t thought about waivers. And honestly, I wouldn’t care if cleared them or not.

        I don’t think DeSmith is an NHL goalie, personally. Too small, bottom line. Had some nice games, but…he’s basically a slightly better Andy Chiodo.

        I think they should sign a veteran to take mental pressure off of Murray and allow Jarry to play in WBS. The ideal signing would be Cam Ward, but it sounds like he’ll be a Hawk.

      • MG and Striker

        Really hope I’m wrong re JJ.,,, really I do

        Not using any stats …. my opinion is only based on what I’ve seen of him this year

        Granted that is limited compared to my experiencing 90% of Leafs and Pens games

        … prob saw JJ in 15 games this year … and I wasn’t impressed … these very well could have been his worst 15 games of the year

        Again I hope I’m very wrong

        It sounds like you’ve seen him way more than I have …. so I will count your perceptions more sound than mine

        If JJ works out to be a solid 17-19 Min guy with limited errors… then $3.25M not so bad … term likely an issue tho… but as pointed out … next work stoppage option of get out of jail free card with buyout… might work

        Re Jarry and potential established back up to push Murray… I still believe Jarry will bounce back and work out

        If Ward as you’ve said won’t be a possibility … what is your next couple of options?

        Would still like Pens to move on a top 6 winger…. Hags would have to be moved for space …. then UFA or trade (Skinner????)

      • STRIKER—ive read this blog everyday for 5 years straight—you are very well informed–I also think you are paid somehow from spectorshockey–you are the glue that holds the page together–lol

      • playoff system awesome.

      • I’d like Bernier.

      • Wow jeff I think maybe striker paid you to spew such horse manure. Striker is right less than 50% of the time and his condescending posts create ire more than anything else. He behaves like he’s the southern oracle you would face the nothing to consult but he’s as useful as a magic 8 ball in most cases.

    • I want Gibbons back for the 4th. GIBBONS!

    • Johnson isn’t the worst dman to sign he can play top 4….. but there were other GUYS like slick skater, 30 minutes a game, defense first oriented, john Moore UFA new jersey…I would rather pay him $4 + million than Johnson $3.25 plus Moore is 27… then move oLLI Matta..
      Micheal Grabner is a 25 plus goal scoring winger he gets more breakaways than anyone in the NHl. He is a free agent can you imagine him in Pittsburgh with our speed game…

      • Really b n g is that the standard you find acceptable? He’s not the worst so therefore it’s ok? He’s not the best or in the top 20 best therefore he’s a mistake plain and simple.

    • I don’t really care for you line at all. They do not balance out the team and make it quite top heavy. If Rutherford is to be believed then the team is looking for complete balance throughout 4 lines not just loading up the top 6. I have said enough about JJ and how much I hate this move and have no hope that it will prove me wrong. It’s not going to, Johnson will be despised and with good reason by Christmas at the latest. I’m definitely not forcing Shultz to carry him because I want Shultz to be productive. I don’t know the answer but I am putting JO or Olli with Shultz so I only have to plays the JJ pair about 12 mins a game. I am giving JJ zero special teams minutes and I am rotating JO and Maatta to play with Shultz to get more out of my top 4. My lines would look more like
      Guentzel Crosby Sprong
      Haglen Malkin Kessel
      ZAR Brassard Kessel
      Rust Sheahan Simon
      Dumoulin Letang
      Maatta Shultz
      Douchebag Oleksiak
      That is the optimal lineup. If someone take DeSmith off of waivers then sign Johnarhan Bernier or Petr Mrazek.

      • When did you start playing nhl deeee?

      • What? Playing NHL? No one plays anything like you do Chris.

  9. Not sure what the Isles plan B actually is. To make a trade to replace J.T. would hurt the team even further. Bozak and a goalie would be a start. Maybe they go into full rebuild. I thought they had the best crop of this year’s draft. If the Bolts or Bruins are successful they could be in line for their existing assets in order to make financial room . If not they are up the creek without a paddle

    • Geez, lets get this straight. Johnson’s term is not an issue. 1) it’s how they got him with such a low salary. 2) In five years, inflation will make his salary a drop in the bucket. 3) In four years contracts for Kessel, Malkin, Rust, Legang, etc will be up. The Pens will be rebuilding and a salary at his level won’t make difference. 4) We’ve already seen that it isn’t that hard to dump bad contracts of lowered salary players like Hunwick. 5) The Pens have no defense prospects coming up for at least 2-3 years. They need outside help. 6) This means a UFA. But UFA defensemen are in huge demand which results in huge overpayments. Carl Alzner anybody? The big cap increase will make UFA defensemen salaries explode this weekend. Prepare to be s hocked at what some like Moore gets. For the price that the Pens could afford to pay, you aren’t going to get someone to play second pairing without perceived flaws. These flaws are so bad that Johnson Columbus offered him a 7 year $25-28 million contract last February. That’s four months ago. And that was before the cap increased by 13% for next year. And Montreal has apparently made an even bigger offer than the Pens.

      The Pens are going for it the next 3 years. That’s all that matters right now.

      • Zach Lauzon, Jeff Taylor, Ryan Jones, Ethan Prow, Clay Philips, Nic Almari, all better ideas than Jack Johnson will be 3 years from now or less. Yeah but 5 years of a guy who can’t make the Bluejackets top 6 is geez Louise gosh darn it pretty swell.

      • If more than one of those guys is an nhl d regular to 6 in 3 years I’ll eat a bug

      • Exactly my there bud Jack Johnson is not an NHL player now and in 3 years it’s going to be embarrassing, all those guys will be better options they just won’t have the ridiculous cap hit. And you’ve admitted many times you know f all about the farm system so why even comment?

  10. Anyone Bruin fans know the status of David Backes head after that last hit? He is a warrior but one more hit….

    • Nope haven’t heard, but ya, that did not look good.
      Have to wonder when you get to his age whether or not he still wants to risk it.

  11. Stamkos re-upped with TB June 29th 2016.

    If Tavares wants 8 years he needs to be signed or traded & signed at some point on Saturday I believe Bobby Mac said. I can’t remember the time deadline, otherwise, NYI or the team traded to can only sign for 7.

    If it’s all about the money, according to the TSN Tavares calculator, it’s Dallas or Tampa Bay that have the least tax application, followed by Boston. The highest is Toronto at least with those teams TSN is showing & Tavares took interviews with.

    If it’s money & having a chance at the cup then TB may make the most sense although how do they deal with their defensive needs but 3 teams have significantly lower tax implications TB, Dal & Bos & with Tavares any of those teams could be cup contenders. That said I don’t want him signed in Bos my favourite team, as much as I love Tavares, I don’t want to take on a player that apparently is going to get 11 mil per today.

    • Agree 100%…..although liking the idea of Bos signing J.T. it’s probably not a good one, use the money to get a top 2-3 Dman shore up the 3rd and 4th lines and use Krug + to get a scoring winger with size and grit for the #2 line.

      • No way Tampa or Boston can afford to sign Tavares without losing 3-4 players. If Krejci wasn’t ALWAYS injured the Bruins wouldn’t need JT.

  12. With all the talk regarding Tavares and taxes, this calculator from TSN is interesting. He would take home more in 7 years in Dallas, Tampa or Boston, at the same salary, than he would 8 on Long Island.


    • Double Minor

      Bang on

      Here’s what I had from yesterday ($11M AAV)

      “Results for take home of full contract in order of lowest to highest for 6 teams in running:
      $38.5 M SJ (7 yrs)
      $40.2 M Tor (7yrs)
      $45.7 M NYI (note that is the net on 8 years)
      $48.6 M Bos (7 yrs)
      $52.6 M TB & Dall (7 yrs)”

      Toronto has all the hometown draw etc … but is $12.5 M take home behind TB & Dal

      I also believe TB as at now positioned with a higher chance at SC than Toronto

      However , hometown boy, future wife Canadian and just got a job in Toronto suburb …. well…

      Again IMO …. if Leafs can aquire in trade in next 2 days ; a solid top 2 D …. the fulcrum swings heavily in T.O. ‘S favour

      KD…. call up StL …. offer Wee Willy, Gardner , 1st for Parayko

      … or call Botteril … Wee Willy (to play with brother) and Gardner and pick for Risto and Rodrigues

      • Need to remember what the exchange rate is he’s paid in US dollars living in Canada so add 30 percent for conversion

    • I have said this before and still believe it needs to happen. The salary cap system needs to factor in local taxes to level the playing field between teams. It is not fair to any team negotiating a deal when the player can take a smaller cap and get paid more on another team.

      How this would work I do not know, but a system needs to be in place to eliminate tax savings from playing a role.

      Perhaps a system that uses after tax income against the cap rather that gross salary. This would need to ignore creative accounting and tax deductions and simply focus on gross salary minus taxes.

      This would allow teams in higher tax brackets to have a higher gross salary, and it would truly level the playing field.

      • I agree to an extent. The libertarian in me says serves those locations right for voting in tax hungry politicians lol

      • I would suppose the easiest would be a cap which looks at salary after tax. So the cap is set at 50M after all taxes calculated.
        It would make trading a bit weirder so there is no easy answer here – regardless, something has to be done.

      • This tax business is absurd. You make it out like taxes is the only factor making one place more/less desirable than another. And what taxes are going to included. Property taxes a astronomical in Texas There is no end to this. What about other expenses. Hurricane insurance? It’s very expensive in Florida. That’s essentially a tax. The reality is that most states now have instituted “fees” to replace taxes. How do these get figured in?

        The ridiculous of using tax equalization is highlighted by Panarin’s wanting onto play in NY/CHi/LA. All expensive big cities. Let’s equalize based on nightlife. And restaurants. Winnipeg would have a a huge salary cap! How about weather. Wait, different places have different humidities. Pittsburgh should get an adjustment for being one of the most most overcast city in the US. Let’s adjust for humidity. Then there are different qualities of school systems…….

      • Lmao. First of all you don’t need “hurricane insurance “ in Florida…. it’s flood insurance you need in Florida if you’re in a low lying area or waterfront only!!!

        Talk about absurd! Comparing “hurricane insurance “ vs millions in taxes! Time to change your name to knownothing !

      • Pittsburgh is the most beautiful place in the world for three weeks in the spring and three weeks in the fall though

    • And he would more than make up the shortfall from any of the highest net income teams/cities with endorsement opportunities in Toronto.

  13. LOL Lyle, you believe JT will resign with NYI, but he may surprise and SJ and TB give him the best option to win a cup or he might sign with his home town team.
    Well that’s 4 out of the 5 teams, it’s clear you don’t think Boston has a chance. But I disagree with you if that SJ give him a better option for a cup then Boston. I agree TB would be the best option for a cup. The second best option for a cup be a team he didn’t pick Nashville but out the teams he is looking at Boston is his second best option.

  14. If the Habs are willing to pay the $7.5 million bonus due to ROR before July 1 I wouldn’t give them anything else. Don’t be greedy Buffalo, use the cash you saved and get into the free agent action.

  15. I don’t get Marc Bergevin. Not that ROR is a bad player by any means but making this trade is only going to set the Habs back. The last thing they need to do is trade more prospects and picks for big contracts. Even with O’Reilly, this isn’t a playoff team next year. If they part with their 1st rounder it’s likely another top 10 pick. They need to trade Weber, Price, Pacioretti, and Alzner for as many prospects and picks as they can get in hopes of being able to compete in 3-5 years because right now they’re not even close. Upper management needs to step in and replace Bergevin before he hurts that team worse than he already has

    • unfortunately MTL needs to go all in–they can’t trade their big blue chip assets all at once–too hard too do—they need to pick a direction and go with it–i think rebuild with current state of nhl–but they need to try and get a couple big pieces and go for it—saying all that –i hope they sink like a stone lol

    • Lol it’s funny hearing a leaf fan cut up other teams when they haven’t won a playoff series in a very long time! When you have the injuries Montreal had last year no team is gonna win many games, I mean people forget the lightning that won the division last yr missed the playoffs because of injuries the year before

      • Actually I’m not “cutting up” other teams, I’m criticizing the gm and actually hoping for better for the Habs. Funny how people are so quick at “cutting up” someone because they’re a leaf fan

      • No, bigbadbruinsbear. The habs just stink right now! I get it, your a Montreal fan…but seriously they are in the same boat T.O was in a couple years back. Save your pride

      • Ya division champs 2 yrs ago major injuries throughout the season last yr! It’s so funny the ppl don’t get it! Shticky fd were you saying tb stunk 2 yrs ago when they missed the playoffs? I know you won’t answer

    • it’s not brain surgery, Bergevin is incompetent.

      Further, now that his continued employment is (quite justifiably) being questioned – insert Peter Principle here – it is quite likely that any decisions he makes are compromised by his perception of his own self-interest.

      As to Molson, he is living proof that inheriting money doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with inheriting intelligence or competence.

      But, you know, beer sales are really good!!!

      • @bigbadbearbruins nope, Tampa has a great team. People dont get what? Windows close and rebuilds need to happen? It’s a part of team sports.

      • You don’t get how injuries affect teams! If tb is so good WHY did they miss the playoffs 2 yrs ago?

      • Go look at the man games lost for Montreal last yr before you deflect away from the question again shtickyfd

      • I get that Montreal has injuries but the comparison to Tampa is ridiculous. Tampa had a cupboard full of prospects

      • And still missed the playoffs I’m not saying Montreal is as good as tb but they will be battling for the playoffs this yr. if the leafs don’t have Anderson in the regular season they miss the playoffs last year

  16. Injuries are why you need at least 5-6 stars over the four basic positions . If you are thin you will not win . Paying one or two players big bucks is not the formula. Pens are lucky to have Sid at is Avv.

    • @bigbear, TB and Mtl aren’t even close. Tampa is stocked with good young talent. They have a solid d and their forward group is among the top 5 in the nhl. Montreal has a big slow defense (other than Mete) and their forwards are paper thin. Their only proven forwards are Gallagher and Patch and the latter wants out ASAP. Bergevin made some horrible moves and the teams morale is at rock bottom. Like I said earlier, even with ROR this team isn’t even close to making the postseason

      • Lol if the leafs don’t have Anderson they don’t make the playoffs don’t kid yourself that defense is the worst in the league look at shots,scoring chances against and time I. Their own end how Anderson didn’t get votes for the vezina is beyond me. A lot of the leaf forwards are very bad in their own end also it’s not just the defense. You can see how far the leafs are from being a contender as well beat by Boston who was dominated by Tampa who was dominated by the caps

  17. Andy Strickland from Fox Sports is tweeting that the Oilers may have a deal in place to trade Lucic. If they do it will go down after July 1, after his $3mil signing bonus is paid.

  18. can Stevie Y trade Johnson, Killorn and Coburn to NYI for their 2 draft picks from this year? If they win the JT sweepstakes that is. That would free up enough $$ and LOU wins by getting value back to keep competitive and not overpay for ROR or Statsny


    • I think if they lose Tavares, they should be more patient. They have some exciting young prospects and players. Let them grow and build it in a an organized way. They won’t be that far from competing for the playoffs again.

  19. Any Returns should be Ho Sang and Dal Colle I would keep this year’s draft. For the Islanders sake as a team I hope JT stays. My pick however is leaning towards the Sharks

  20. Habs are a mess they need a complete rebuild trade Price and Weber not sure what Patch will bring maybe a first at deadline. Start over and hope some of this years picks turn out but I think they drafted the wrong guy this draft. I know they need a centre but I would have taken the sure fire scorer. Good luck.

    • Bruins are a mess one line team with only a couple of prospects that only in Boston fans eyes are decent. Good luck on the upcoming rebuild

      • You answer like your 10 years old @bigbearbruins. Toronto has holes, sure. They are not contenders right NOW but they figured out they weren’t winning squat with the group they had before. Change was made, it had to be done. Two questions for you, and answer truthfully…Is MB on the right track? Do you trust him to make the right moves?

    • Agree Obe, Habs are a mess. If they get ROR they are still mediocre and have no chance at a playoff run.
      Not so sure they made a mistake at the draft, time will tell.
      Many pundits said the same thing when Clb took Dubois ahead of Puljujarvi, Juolevi and Tkachuk.
      Which of those 4 will be the most valuable asset over the course of their careers? Still a guess, but if I could have any of the 4 today for the next 7/8 years I will take Dubois.

      • Do you only see in black and yellow ray? We barely beat a weak Toronto team and were dominated against the bolts who were dominated against the caps, we need a rebuild as much as you think we have good prospects coming up ( probably haven’t actually watched them) just listen to bruins media a lot of the prospects will be 3rd 4th liners and the dmen besides Charlie are very weak, zboril will have a hard time playing in the nhl

  21. I get it Habs needed a centre man but Zadina seems to be the real deal. He can score goals and in this game putting the puck in the net is still important. If they trade futures for ROR that’s just crazy and if they sign Stastny that’s worse. Blow it up start over most Hab fans could handle a rebuild.

    • Agree, the fans are knowledgeable in MTL, but sure are used to winning, or least being competitive.
      So maybe they wouldn’t want a rebuild?
      I just don’t see it working out until they do. Spending money to be a bubble team at best just puts off the inevitable IMO.

      • When is Boston going to rebuild? They’re a one line team with not much coming up! They still have anchor contracts like backes and krejci hey need to move, blow it start over most bruins fans can handle it

    • No I’d sign as many free agents worth something as possible … I’d sign jvr, stastny, and others and if you don’t make the playoffs start trading for picks those guys ….

      • Montreal doesnt even have one line! They all want out.

  22. Tavares… a Leaf… bank on it..

    • Well we know he wont be a Sabre! Bank it

  23. Buffalo is really hoping they don’t have to pay 7.5 million for a guy that doesn’t even get a point a game … he’s a 2nd line centre even if Montreal got him they will need a number 1 centre …. only way I do a deal with buffalo is if stastny signs with Montreal like that I have 2 centres that are 2nd line centres but win faceoffs…. 1st and 2nd granted but I’d have to say the prospects would be de la rose and Lindgern … Buffalo needs a goalie and Lindgern looks ready for the NHL … not high end prospects but that’s what I’d offer take it or leave it and I won’t protect my first if I protect my first then Montreal would have to give a better prospect