NHL Rumor Mill – March 7, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – March 7, 2019

Should the Flyers target Artemi Panarin this summer? Were they close to trading Shayne Gostisbehere? What are Mats Zuccarello’s free-agent plans? Get the details, plus a look at how the NHL plans to block expansion draft circumvention, in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


NBC SPORTS: John Boruk believes Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin may be atop Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher’s free-agent wish list. Fletcher said his club will have lots of salary-cap space this summer even after re-signing some key players. Boruk feels the Flyers have been lacking a true scoring forward since Simon Gagne’s heyday, suggesting Fletcher should offer up a second- or third-round draft pick to the Blue Jackets in June for Panarin’s exclusive negotiating rights. He acknowledged it could cost around $10 million per season to sign him. 

Could the Philadelphia Flyers target Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin via free agency? (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Flyers have over $46.8 million invested in 13 players for 2019-20, with Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Cam Talbot, Brian Elliott, and Michael Raffl as their noteworthy free agents. Assuming they’re all re-signed, they should still have plenty of cap space to make a big splash in this summer’s UFA market. Goaltending has long been their Achilles’ Heel, but rookie Carter Hart shows promise and they’ll likely keep Talbot or Elliott as his backup for next season.

The Flyers are sitting 12th in goals-for per game this season (3.01) and those stats might have been higher had James van Riemsdyk not been sidelined earlier in the season and now-departed Wayne Simmonds hadn’t struggled following off-season pelvic surgery. It wouldn’t hurt to have another scorer in the mix to help take some of the load off Claude Giroux, Jakob Voracek, and Sean Couturier. 


Boruk’s colleague Jordan Hall noted  Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere popped up in trade rumors leading up to the recent trade deadline. He was puzzled over why anyone would assume the Flyers would shop Gostisbehere  “He’s 25 years old, he’s elusive, he’s dexterous and he gets the puck out of the defensive zone and up the ice. Oh, and he’s under contract through 2022-23 on a cost-effective deal. Sounds pretty good.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The very traits Hall noted about “Ghost Bear” explains why he surfaced in the rumor mill. Fletcher also said he was willing to consider all his options after taking over as Flyers GM, which may have spurred a rival or two to see if he was willing to move Gostisbehere. Anything’s possible and I wonder if Fletcher might be tempted if someone offered up a scoring forward. If not, I think Gostisbehere stays put. 


NHL.COM: In a recent interview with Mike Heika, Dallas Stars winger Mats Zuccarello played coy over his plans for this summer’s unrestricted free agent market. While currently sidelined by a broken arm, Zuccarello said he’s enjoying his tenure thus far with his new club and looks forward to returning to action later in the month, He adds he hasn’t given much thought about free agency, saying he intends to let things play out before reaching a decision on re-signing or testing the market. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: How well Zuccarello performs upon his return to the Stars and if he can help them reach the playoffs could have an effect upon whether or not he stays beyond this season. 


THE SCORE:  Eric Patterson cited NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly telling The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun the league will take steps to ensure teams won’t attempt the use the Vegas Golden Knights as a means of circumventing the Seattle expansion draft. The Golden Knights won’t be participating in that draft, raising concerns some teams could make deals with them to get around the protected-player list. Daly said the league must approve all transactions and teams won’t be allowed to park players on Vegas. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, a team can’t send a player to the Golden Knights to avoid losing him in the expansion draft and then re-acquire him when the draft is over, or ship that player to Vegas for some kind of return rather than losing him to the draft for nothing. It doesn’t appear the league intends to implement a trade freeze but they will likely pay closer attention to deals involving the Golden Knights leading up to the draft. 

No-Movement Clauses and The Next NHL Expansion Draft

No-Movement Clauses and The Next NHL Expansion Draft

Last Tuesday, the NHL board of governors unanimously approved awarding an expansion franchise to the city of Seattle, Washington. The club’s first season will be in 2021-22, making it the first NHL team in the American Pacific Northwest and providing a natural rival for the Vancouver Canucks.

The expansion draft for the Seattle franchise will be held in June 2021 at the renovated KeyArena, with the rules similar to those of the 2017 expansion draft. The as-yet-unnamed Seattle club will select one player from each team (excluding the Golden Knights) for a total of 30 players: 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.

Each club has the option of protecting seven forwards, three defensemen and a goaltender, or eight skaters (forward or defense) and a goalie. All first- and second-year players, and all unsigned draft choices will be exempt.

Players with no-movement clauses at the time of the draft, and who decline to waive those clauses, must be protected by their teams.

Thanks to the good folks at the indispensable Cap Friendly, here’s a list of players who have “effective & continuing “No Move” clauses in 2021 as part of their contracts”:


Fifteen teams – Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburgh Penguins – will be affected, totaling 27 players.

The Blackhawks, Stars, and Penguins will be most affected, with each club having four players to protect, followed by the Bruins, Panthers, and Wild with two each.

Of those players, only two – the Stars’ Tyler Seguin and the Panthers’ Jonathan Huberdeau – will be under the age of 30.

Bear in mind this list could grow as more players are signed to long-term contract prior to the 2020-21 season. Given the impact they have on a team’s protected list, general managers could be reluctant to include such clauses in new contracts if they’re in effect during the year of the expansion draft.

Those no-movement clauses must be in effect before June 30, 2021. The number of players on each club with those clauses could also change as a few could agree to waive them in order to be dealt to another team.


NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 10, 2017

Johnny Gaudreau (right) celebrates teammate Micheal Ferland’s goal against the Montreal Canadiens.

Game recaps, injury updates, Sestito suspended, Canucks debunk drinking culture story & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

NHL.COM: Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and three assists to lead the Calgary Flames to a 5-0 shutout of the Montreal Canadiens. It was the Flames’ eighth straight victory and snapped the Habs’ six-game winning streak.The Flames, however, lost defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Michael Stone to injuries

Erik Karlsson scored the game-tying and game-winning goals to give the Ottawa Senators a 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The Sens move within two points of the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens with two games in hand. 

Andrew Ladd’s overtime goal lifted the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. The win keeps the Isles in the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference, one point up on the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Fredrik Andersen made 36 saves and Tyler Bozak scored a goal and set up another as the Toronto Maple Leafs doubled up the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2. 

Jarome Iginla scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to give the Los Angeles Kings a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. The Kings move within one point of the St. Louis Blues for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. 

Logan Couture scored two power-play goals and Brent Burns collected three assists to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals. 

Jonathan Bernier had a 43-save shutout performance and Corey Perry scored the only goal as the Anaheim Ducks blanked the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0. 

Nikita Kucherov scored twice and set up another to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. It was a costly win, as forwards Tyler Johnson, Vladislav Namestnikov and Cedric Paquette all left the game with injuries

Sebastian Aho scored two straight third-period power-play goals, including his 20th of the season, and Cam Ward turned aside 40 shots as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the New York Rangers 4-3. 

Francois Beauchemin scored the game winner late in the third period to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils. 

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Tom Sestito received a four-game suspension for boarding on Winnipeg Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom. 

MLIVE.COM: The Detroit Red Wings have recalled goaltender Jimmy Howard from their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. 

THE ATHLETIC: Philadelphia Flyers center Valtteri Filppula confirmed he refused a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Toronto Maple Leafs before the recent trade deadline. He said it was nothing against the Leafs or coach Mike Babcock, who coached Filppula during their tenures with the Detroit Red Wings. He explained he compiled his no-trade list last summer and the Leafs weren’t on his list of preferred destinations. He opted to stick with his list when approached by Lightning management regarding a possible trade to the Leafs. 

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Glendale’s city manager and former mayor both lay the blame for the Arizona Coyotes’ financial mess on the club icing a lousy product for years, not the location of the club’s current arena. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They make a good case. While the current arena is located well away from downtown Phoenix, the Coyotes could’ve attracted more fans had they regularly put a competitive team on the ice over the past decade.

PUCK DADDY:The arbitration process is one reason behind the reluctance of NHL general managers to release their lists of protected players prior to the NHL expansion draft in June. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the GMs don’t those players who are left unprotected and passed over by Vegas feeling slighted and disrespected and having those feelings carry over into contract negotiations and salary arbitration. 

NBC SPORTS: Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden denied claims by Irish hurler and football player Lee Chin claiming the Canucks had a culture of heavy drinking between games. Chin was taking part in a job-swapping TV show with former Canucks goalie Alex Auld. Chin subsequently apologized for his comments. 

NHL Rumor Mill – March 8, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – March 8, 2017

Could the Ottawa Senators leave Bobby Ryan unprotected in the NHL expansion draft?

A look at several notable players who could be exposed in this June’s expansion draft and more in your NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Frank Seravalli and Craig Button recently looked at the players that might be available in June’s NHL expansion draft. They first revisited the key rules of the draft. Teams can protect either seven forwards, three defensemen and a goalie or eight skaters (four forwards and four defensemen) and a goalie, players with no-movement clause must be protected, and players with less than three years of pro experience are exempt.

They then examined which players from the seven Canadian teams could be exposed in the draft. Among the notables the Toronto Maple Leafs could expose are defensemen Alexey Marchenko and Martin Marincin and forwards Eric Fehr and Ben Smith. Tomas Plekanec, Jordie Benn, Alexei Emelin and Al Montoya could be left unprotected by the Montreal Canadiens.

The Ottawa Senators could exposed wingers Bobby Ryan and recently-acquired Alex Burrows, defenseman Marc Methot and goalie Andrew Hammond. For the Edmonton Oilers, forwards Zach Kassian, Benoit Pouliot, Matt Hendricks and defenseman Mark Fayne could be unprotected.

For the Winnipeg Jets, they could opt for the eight skater protection because of their depth on the blueline. Forwards Mathieu Perreault, Shawn Matthias and Marko Dano and goalie Michael Hutchinson could be available. The Vancouver Canucks could expose defenseman Luca Sbisa and forward Derek Dorsett. The Calgary Flames could expose forwards Matt Stajan, Alex Chiasson and Lance Bouma.

As for the rest of the league, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (provided he waives his no-movement clause), Wild winger Jason Zucker, Anaheim Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg and Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov could be among the best available players. 

Seravalli speculates Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher could be talking with Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee to work out a trade whereby the Wild will give up an asset to Vegas in order to protect a defenseman such as Jonas Brodin or Marco Scandella. 

Button doubts Silfverberg will be available and Fleury must waive his no-movement clause. He speculates the Penguins netminder could end up traded to a club of his choosing before the expansion draft. 

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun recently reported Golden Knights GM George McPhee could take part in trade discussions with his colleagues during this week’s meeting of NHL general managers in Boca Raton, Florida. McPhee admitted he’s had some talks with several clubs, but isn’t in a rush to make any deals in advance. “We’d rather see the entire universe of who’s available and who’s protected before we make a lot of decisions,” he said. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadian teams are in good shape for the expansion draft. It doesn’t appear any of them risk losing a key player.

Bear in mind that just because players such as Bobby Ryan or Tomas Plekanec might be exposed doesn’t mean they’ll be selected by Vegas. Ryan carries a big contract and hasn’t played up to expectations in Ottawa, while Plekanec is in his mid-thirties and his best seasons are behind him. The only real concern for the Jets is losing Perreault, who’s an oft-injured but versatile forward.

Of the other notables around the league, I agree with Button that Silfverberg probably won’t be available by the time the Golden Knights make their selections. Like the Wild, the Ducks could work out a side deal with Vegas to ensure he gets passed over by the Golden Knights, possibly by trading them a defenseman. 

Fleury could be dealt or bought out prior to the draft. It’s also possible he could waive his NMC to make himself available in the draft, but he might not be keen to join an expansion team.  

NHL Expansion Speculation – November 24, 2016

NHL Expansion Speculation – November 24, 2016

Could Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan be exposed in next June's NHL expansion draft?

Could Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan be exposed in next June’s NHL expansion draft?

A look at the players potentially available to the Vegas Golden Knights (and those who might not be) in next June’s expansion draft. 

SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston published a list of 66 players currently considered exempt from next June’s NHL expansion draft because of their no-movement clauses. 

Anaheim (4)
Kevin Bieksa
Ryan Getzlaf
Ryan Kesler
Corey Perry

Arizona (1)
Alex Goligoski

Boston (4)
David Backes
Patrice Bergeron
Zdeno Chara
David Krejci

Buffalo (1)
Kyle Okposo

Carolina (1)
Jordan Staal

Columbus (5)
Sergei Bobrovsky
David Clarkson
Brandon Dubinsky
Nick Foligno
Scott Hartnell

Chicago (8)
Artem Anisimov
Corey Crawford
Niklas Hjalmarsson
Marian Hossa
Patrick Kane
Duncan Keith
Brent Seabrook
Jonathan Toews

Colorado (2)
Francois Beauchemin
Erik Johnson

Dallas (2)
Jamie Benn
Jason Spezza

Detroit (1)
Frans Nielsen

Edmonton (3)
Milan Lucic
Andrej Sekera
Cam Talbot

Florida (1)
Keith Yandle

Los Angeles (1)
Anze Kopitar

Minnesota (4)
Mikko Koivu
Zach Parise
Jason Pominville
Ryan Suter

Montreal (2)
Jeff Petry
Carey Price

Nashville (1)
Pekka Rinne

New Jersey (1)
Ryane Clowe

N.Y. Islanders (3)
Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Ladd
John Tavares

N.Y. Rangers (4)
Dan Girardi
Henrik Lundqvist
Rick Nash
Marc Staal

Ottawa (1)
Dion Phaneuf

Philadelphia (1)
Claude Giroux

Pittsburgh (5)
Sidney Crosby
Marc-Andre Fleury
Phil Kessel
Kris Letang
Evgeni Malkin

Tampa Bay (4)
Ryan Callahan
Valtteri Filppula
Victor Hedman
Steven Stamkos

Toronto (1)
Nathan Horton

Vancouver (3)
Loui Eriksson
Daniel Sedin
Henrik Sedin

Winnipeg (2)
Dustin Byfuglien
Toby Enstrom

Johnston also reports “Anaheim Ducks centre Antoine Vermette and Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask each hold no-move clauses that run until June 15, 2017 – just two days before each team must submit a list of protected players.”  Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith’s no-move expired last June. 

It’s also possible Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan could be exposed in the draft. Johnston cites a source saying the language regarding his no-movement clause stipulates no-movement to the minors and gives him a limited no-trade clause.

Johnston also cautions the list could change as new contracts are signed, players are exempted because of injury (” i.e. New Jersey’s Ryane Clowe, Toronto’s Nathan Horton and Columbus’ David Clarkson”) and some might agree to waive their movement clause to go to Las Vegas. 

TSN: Frank Seravalli lists Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk, Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Brandon Davidson, Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Cam Atkinson, Wild left wing Jason Zucker, Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitri Orlov, Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault, Ottawa Senators defensemen Marc Methot, Anaheim Ducks left wing Jakob Silfverberg and Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as the top-10 players projected to be available. 

Other notables include San Jose Sharks winger Mikkel Boedker, Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger, LA Kings winger Marian Gaborik, Colorado Avalanche forward Mikhail Grigorenko, Buffalo Sabres forward Johan Larsson, New York Rangers winger Michael Grabner, Philadelphia Flyers winger Matt Read, Dallas Stars defenseman Dan Hamhuis, Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson, Sharks defenseman Paul Martin, Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo and Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov. 

USA TODAY:  In his analysis of what the Golden Knights’ roster could look like next season, Kevin Allen speculates “the potential expansion draft goalie pool could include Marc-Andre Fleury, Semyon Varlamov, Thomas Greiss, Jimmy Howard, and perhaps Roberto Luongo”.

Other potentially available players include Jakob Silfverberg, Ryan Dzingel, Dmitri Orlov, Jonas Brodin, Tomas Plekanic, Mikkel Boedker, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Mikhail Grigorenko, Mathieu Perreault,  Marian Gaborik and Ryan Sproul.

Allen also notes Vegas will have a 48-hour head-start window before the expansion draft to negotiate with and potentially sign unrestricted free agents. Next summer’s notable UFAs include Ben Bishop, Kevin Shattenkirk, T.J. Oshie and Karl Alzner.

SI.COM’s Alex Prewitt reports the following via Twitter: “One small expansion draft rule clarified by the NHL to Vegas yesterday: Can’t arrange salary retention for picks with their prior teams.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot here to digest. For those who are interested, you can find the rules for the expansion draft at this link. The 30 NHL clubs must submit their protection lists by 5 pm ET on June 17. The Golden Knights will submit their selections on June 20, with the official announcement of their selections on June 21.

It’s interesting to note some of the notable inclusions and exclusions in Johnston’s list. Goes to show the full details of a player’s no-movement clause doesn’t reach sites such as CapFriendly.com. I’m not knocking them, as they do the best they can to compile NHL player contract info, but they can only get so much. 

It’ll be interesting to see if the Senators provide any clarification on Ryan’s status. I was under the impression he was in the same boat as Fleury, whose no-movement also reportedly covers only demotion to the minors. Perhaps Fleury’s no-movement is more ironclad than previously assumed.

As for the expiration of Rask’s no-movement clause, I don’t think there’s any question the Bruins will protect him. 

As for the oter players who could become available, some are certainties based on their high salaries and/or performance. Doesn’t mean, however, they’ll be selected by the Knights. I’m not convinced a player like Atkinson will be left unprotected, and it remains to be seen if Fleury will agree to waive his movement clause.

Still very early to start guessing which players will be available in the draft, but feel free to indulge in the comments section. I’ll waiting until next spring, when we’ll start getting a much clearer picture.