NHL Rumor Mill – June 26, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill – June 26, 2017

Could the NY Rangers or Nashville Predators look into signing San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton?

Updates on Joe Thornton, Kevin Shattenkirk, Andrei Markov & other notable UFAs in your NHL rumor mill.

NEW YORK POST/TORONTO SUN: Larry Brooks reports it’s unknown whether San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton is willing to come to New York and reunite with buddy Rick Nash with the Rangers. it’s expected Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton could kick the tires on the soon-to-be 38-year-old center.  Meanwhile, Steve Simmons the Nashville Predators could also have interest in Thornton.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton’s preference is to finish his career in San Jose. However, he reportedly seeks a three-year deal which could be too lengthy for the Sharks. If he hits the open market he could try to stay close to California. As for the Preds interest, I think that hinges on their efforts to pry Matt Duchene away from the Colorado Avalanche. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Lightning GM Steve Yzerman could be looking into signing Washington Capitals UFA defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Yzerman, however, is wary about losing his recently gained salary-cap flexibility. The Lightning attempted to acquire Shattenkirk before he was dealt to the Capitals by the St. Louis Blues but the blueliner spiked the deal because he didn’t want to sign a long-term extension with the Bolts.

Yzerman could also check on UFA blueliners Karl Alzner and Cody Franson and could still consider the trade market to bolster their blueline. He also hopes to add a top-nine winger via free agency. Possible fits include Washington’s Justin Williams and former Lightning Brian Boyle.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shattenkirk is seeking top dollar on a long-term deal, possibly a seven-year contract worth over $7 million annually. Unless he’s willing to lower his price or Yzerman can free up more cap space, the chances he’ll land in Tampa Bay appear slim. 

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports term remains a sticking point in contract talks between the Canadiens and right wing Alexander Radulov, who apparently seeks a seven-year deal. Hickey advocates re-signing long-time Habs blueliner Andrei Markov to a two-year deal. Otherwise, GM Marc Bergevin will be left scrambling to find a suitable replacement.

There’s speculation restricted free agent winger Alex Galchenyuk could be shopped for a high-end defenseman but that will leave a hole in the Canadiens offense. If Galchenyuk isn’t shopped he won’t get a long-term extension from the Canadiens and Hickey wouldn’t be surprised if his negotiations head to arbitration.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Radulov, who turns 31 in July, is dreaming if he thinks he’s getting a seven-year deal from the Habs or anyone else via free agency. If he’s willing to accept four years, the Habs will be receptive to that. I expect Markov will get a two-year deal, especially because losing him to free agency hurts their already weakened blueline depth. Bergevin is obviously listening to offers for Galchenyuk but will keep him in the short term if he doesn’t get worthwhile return. 

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jason Bell reports Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is likely to go shopping for a veteran goaltender to split the duties with Connor Hellebuyck. “Recipients of a call from the Jets could include the camps of UFAs Brian Elliott, 32, of the Calgary Flames, Steve Mason, 29, of the Philadelphia Flyers, Jonathan Bernier, 28, of the Anaheim Ducks or Ryan Miller, 36, of the Vancouver Canucks.” Bell also suggests Carolina Hurricanes veteran Cam Ward could be available via trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elliott or Mason could be the best bets for the Jets. Both are coming off inconsistent performance last season and I think they can be had for affordable one- or two-year deals. Both should be looking for bounce-back efforts next season. 

THE DETROIT NEWS: Gregg Krupa believes the Detroit Red Wings should take advantage of the lack of quality goalies in the UFA market by shopping Jimmy Howard or Petr Mrazek for a return that can help their roster rebuild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets and Philadelphia Flyers could be worthwhile trade targets. Both need help between the pipes for next season. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford faces potentially replacing UFA centers Nick Bonino and Matt Cullen. The best options in the trade market are Colorado’s Matt Duchene (who would be expensive in both return and contract) and Chicago’s Marcus Kruger (earning over $3 million as a low-scoring center). Given the lack of depth in the UFA market, Rutherford’s best option could be attempting to re-sign Bonino and talking Cullen out of retirement.

BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy reports Bruins GM Don Sweeney could continue his efforts to land a left-handed defenseman leading up to the start of the UFA market on July 1. The Bruins were linked to Minnesota Wild blueliner Marco Scandella over the weekend but it’s unclear how deep that interest ran. Conroy also suggests Sweeney look at Pittsburgh’s Nick Bonino as a possible replacement for Ryan Spooner, who was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. 


NHL Draft Trade Rumors (Day Two) – June 24, 2017

NHL Draft Trade Rumors (Day Two) – June 24, 2017

Colorado Avalanche still setting a high asking price for Matt Duchene.

Latest on Matt Duchene, Travis Hamonic, Marco Scandella, Noah Hanifin and more in your NHL rumor mill. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic wants a significant return for center Matt Duchene and needs a good defenseman as part of it. So far, that hasn’t materialized.

He reports Duchene’s agent, Pat Brisson, had brief meetings yesterday with Sakic and Nashville Predators GM David Poile. It’s believed Poile has keen interest in Duchene as a replacement for the departed James Neal but they don’t want to part with a blueliner.

Pierre LeBrun followed up saying Sakic hasn’t received any offers to his liking yet and hasn’t ruled out keeping Duchene. He wonders if perhaps a third team might have to get involved to make a deal happen. 

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports the New York Islanders had an offer of Travis Hamonic, their 2018 first-round pick and a prospect on the table for Duchene. However, Sakic wanted 20-year-old Isles center Matthew Barzal included in the deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like Sakic hasn’t lowered his asking price for Duchene since the trade deadline back in March. And it appears no one is willing to pay up. If Sakic can’t find what he’s looking for and won’t slash the price tag for Duchene, he could very well end up keeping him.

This has to be tough for Duchene. He knows he’s a trade candidate, is probably expecting a trade call, and yet he’s stuck in limbo right now wondering where he’ll be playing next season. 

Dreger also believes it seems likely New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic could be moved this weekend. The Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs were interested but not at the asking price of two first-round picks. 

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan notes there were reports including the Detroit Red Wings among several teams looking at Hamonic. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports the Lightning were also reported in on Hamonic.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Isles GM Garth Snow obviously couldn’t find anyone willing to part with two first-round picks for Hamonic. He might have to change it to a first rounder in 2018 plus a prospect if he’s not seeking any salary in return. 

LeBrun reports the Vegas Golden Knights could flip defensemen Marc Methot and Alexei Emelin at some point. Methot is very much in demand by most Canadian teams but he’s only willing to waive his 10-team no-trade clause for his former club, the Ottawa Senators, and he can’t return to them (if they’re interested) until after January 1. 

SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was unsuccessful in his efforts to convince Marc Methot to waive his no-trade clause. Bergevin also reportedly had interest in Minnesota Wild defenseman Marco Scandella and briefly chatted with Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford and Anaheim GM Bob Murray last night.

Contract talks with Alexander Radulov are on the back burner for now and things are quiet in contract discussions with Andrei Markov. Left wing Alex Galchenyuk remains the center of trade speculation, with recent reports claiming the New Jersey Devils had interest. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Again, I don’t see the Devils as a suitable trade partner for Galchenyuk. It’s rumored Bergevin wants a top-four defenseman as part of the return and the Devils don’t have any to spare. If reports of Radulov seeking $7 million per season for six years are true, it’s unsurprising Bergevin has put those discussions on hold for now. 

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani reports there were rumors Minnesota Wild defenseman Marco Scandella could be on the move. However, GM Chuck Fletcher didn’t get any offers to his liking. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports the Boston Bruins were among several teams with interest in Scandella. The Montreal Canadiens are also believed interested in him. Haggerty also reports Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin was among the names rumored to be available. The Hurricanes are in need of a scoring forward. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher will likely continue fielding offers for Scandella this weekend. Surprised to hear Hanifin’s name surface in the rumor mill. Most of the recent Hurricanes speculation suggests Justin Faulk as a possible trade candidate. 


NHL Draft Day Rumor Mill – June 23, 2017

NHL Draft Day Rumor Mill – June 23, 2017

Will the New York Islanders move Travis Hamonic this weekend?

Latest on Travis Hamonic, Jason Pominville, Sami Vatanen, Alex Radulov & more in your NHL Draft Day rumor mill. 

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports New York Islanders defensemen Travis Hamonic and Calvin de Haan appear to be the most attractive trade targets for other teams. He said there was “strong chatter” on Thursday that Hamonic could be on the move ” possibly for a young forward and a draft pick.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Bob McKenzie yesterday reported of speculation the Isles could seek two first-round picks for Hamonic. They’ve obviously set a high price for him, but I doubt they’ll get two first-rounders. If they’re serious about moving Hamonic they could end up accepting a young player or first-round pick. We’ll find out soon enough.

CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports Flames GM Brad Treliving is working the phones in search of a defenseman. One option is Islanders blueliner Travis Hamonic. Another could be Vegas Golden Knights rearguard Marc Methot. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher continues to ponder the possibility of moving one of his defensemen during the upcoming NHL draft. There’s been strong interest in Jonas Brodin all month. Marco Scandella has also attracted interest, especially from his hometown Montreal Canadiens, but by Thursday talks seemed to cool. It’s believed Fletcher has had lots of discussions with the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning. Fletcher is open to receiving “an immediate player” in return but he could also accept draft picks and prospects, allowing him salary-cap flexibility to re-sign key players.

 It’s also believed Fletcher tried to move right wing Jason Pominville and his $5.6 million annual cap hit. He has a 10-team no-trade list which rises to 20 teams by July 1. It’s thought Fletcher recently spoke to the Boston Bruins regarding Pominville. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It sounds as though Fletcher might prefer moving Scandella over Brodin. No indication if he’s had any discussions regarding Matt Dumba. Of the three, Scandella could be most likely to go.

As for the 34-year-old Pominville, his production has declined over the past couple of years. Unless Fletcher is willing to pick up a good chunk of the winger’s cap hit or take back a toxic contract, I don’t think he’ll find many takers. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington suggests Wild blueliners Jonas Brodin or Marco Scandella could be good fits on the Sabres blueline. He wonders if offering up Evander Kane would land one of those d-men, though he probably wouldn’t be a good fit under their salary cap. Harrington cautions that trading Kane would leave the Sabres searching for a scoring forward. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Curtis Zupke reports there is still believed to be heavy interest in Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen in the trade market. There’s also speculation Ducks GM Bob Murray could try to move veteran Kevin Bieksa despite his no-move clause. 

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have been linked to Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller and are also among the clubs that pursued Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen, However, the Ducks gave up defenseman Shea Theodore to Vegas to protect Vatanen and Josh Manson in the expansion draft and could either keep both or set a high price for them. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t fully rule out a Vatanen trade, especially if the Ducks get an offer of a good scoring winger. However, the departure of Clayton Stone and Shea Theodore via the expansion draft could make Murray reluctant to move Vatanen now. 

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports hearing Montreal Canadiens right wing Alexander Radulov seeks a six-year deal worth an annual cap hit of $7 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If that’s what Radulov truly wants, he can forget about re-signing with the Canadiens. And good luck finding any takers elsewhere in the NHL for that price.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is in the market for a top-nine winger and a defenseman, Yzerman isn’t fussy if the winger is a right- or left-handed shot. He also said he’s had some talks with teams regarding a blueliner. Smith observes the Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild are getting offers for blueliners. If the Colorado Avalanche trade Matt Duchene for a defenseman, Tyson Barrie could be available. 

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall could be in the market for a goaltender. His tandem for next season consists of Michal Neuvirth and Anthony Stolarz. “Hextall may make a deal at the draft or he might pursue the goalie free-agent market July 1. Among the prospective free-agent goalies besides Steve Mason: Jonathan Bernier, Brian Elliott, Anders Nilsson, Keith Kinkaid, and Ryan Miller.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not many suitable options available for Hextall via the trade market or free agency. I expect he’ll do something via one option or another but finding a quality starter in his playing prime seems unlikely. 

TSN: The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly close to re-signing defenseman Kris Russell to a four-year deal worth around $4 million annually. The deal could be in place by today. 


NHL Rumor Mill (Part Two) – June 22, 2017

NHL Rumor Mill (Part Two) – June 22, 2017

New Jersey Devils reportedly have interest in Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk.

Latest on Matt Duchene, Alex Galchenyuk, Travis Hamonic and more in your latest NHL rumor mill update. 

TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Nashville Predators are “definitely interested” in Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene. However, the Preds could balk if the Avs’ asking price is a defenseman. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Preds giving up Ryan Ellis or Mattias Ekholm as part of a deal for Duchene. They certainly won’t part with Roman Josi or P.K. Subban. 

Pierre LeBrun reports he doesn’t get the impression the New York Islanders are under any urgency to move defenseman Travis Hamonic but they could do so for the right deal. LeBrun also reports the Calgary Flames looked into Hamonic as well as Vegas Golden Knights blueliner Marc Methot. They’re also still trying to re-sign Michael Stone.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Isles’ asking price for Hamonic could be a good young scoring forward. Maybe someone like Galchenyuk but the Habs seem to prefer someone such as Minnesota’s Marco Scandella.  

LeBrun reports the New Jersey Devils are among the clubs that contacted the Montreal Canadiens regarding forward Alex Galchenyuk. He’s not sure there’s a fit there. He also said the Florida Panthers are open to moving defenseman Jason Demers for the right price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t see a deal where the Habs ship Galchenyuk to the Devils. My guess Montreal wants a good defenseman as part of the return. The Devils don’t have any suitable to spare. 

Speaking of the Canadiens, Sportsnet’s Eric Engels believes GM Marc Bergevin will want “multiple pieces” as a return for Galchenyuk.  TVA Sports’ Louis Jean reports Bergevin isn’t ruling out trading the rights of pending unrestricted free agent winger Alexander Radulov if he can’t re-sign him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I could be wrong but, since the Drouin trade last week, I get the feeling that Radulov’s a goner. 

Bob McKenzie reports the Arizona Coyotes are active on a number of fronts. Noting they were talking with the New York Rangers before the roster freeze (“Stepan?”), he wonders if they’ll revisit those discussions. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes the Rangers are better off sticking with Stepan unless they can get a certain top-pairing right-side defenseman. The only one that fits the bill on the Coyotes is Oliver Ekman-Larsson and they certainly aren’t moving their new captain. And no, I’m not saying Stepan’s worth Ekman-Larsson! 

McKenzie also notes the trade chatter regarding Marc Methot since last night’s expansion draft. He points out the blueliner still has a 10-team no-trade list. McKenzie gets the sense Methot would rather stay in Vegas than alter his list. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM’s Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild might not be keen to move defenseman Jonas Brodin, who’s attracted trade interest. Marco Scandella could be a possibility. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens were reportedly keen on Scandella before the roster freeze but the two sides couldn’t get a deal done. Perhaps they’ll revisit this on the draft floor this weekend?


Canadiens Acquire Drouin From Lightning

Canadiens Acquire Drouin From Lightning

Montreal Canadiens acquire left wing Jonathan Drouin from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Montreal Canadiens acquired left wing Jonathan Drouin and a conditional sixth-round pick in 2018 from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and a conditional second-round selection in 2018.

If Sergachev plays more than 40 regular-season games next season for the Lightning, no picks will be exchanged. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the second straight year, Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin pulls off a significant deal in June. Drouin should certainly bolster the Canadiens’ offense.

The 22-year-old is a skilled playmaker with considerable upside, enjoying a breakthrough 53-point performance in 2016-17. He’s a restricted free agent coming off an entry-level contract and could receive a five-year deal worth between $5 million to $6 million annually. 

Much of the Drouin trade speculation had him being peddled for a top-four defenseman. Sergachev, who turns 19 on June 25, certainly has the potential but hasn’t reached that level yet in the NHL. He’s  exempt from the expansion draft, allowing the Bolts to protect another player. However, they could remain in the market for an experienced rearguard this summer. 

Bergevin probably isn’t done dealing. The Canadiens still need scoring depth at center. After moving Sergachev, they’ll also need skilled blueline depth down the road. 

Most of the speculation leading up to this deal had Drouin being swapped for Alex Galchenyuk. While Galchenyuk remains a Hab there are reports claiming he’s being actively shopped.  He’s been linked to Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene in the trade-rumor mill. 

The Drouin trade also casts some doubt over Alexander Radulov’s future in Montreal. He’s an unrestricted free agent in July. While both sides were reportedly keen on getting a deal done, re-signing the young Drouin takes priority. If Radulov departs, the Habs will also need scoring depth on right wing. 



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 13, 2017

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 13, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury agreed to waive his no-movement clause.

Fleury, Phaneuf asked to waive NMCs, Panthers hire Boughner as head coach & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury agreed to waive his no-movement clause in order to be exposed in the upcoming NHL expansion draft.

TSN: The Ottawa Senators asked defenseman Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-movement clause for the purpose of exposure in the expansion draft. Phaneuf has until 5 pm ET on Friday, June 16 to agree.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Various sources also reported Fleury agreed to waive his clause back in February. It’s not like he wants to leave the Penguins but he understands the situation they’re in regarding the expansion draft and their need to protect Matt Murray. He’s to be commended for his professionalism in this matter.  

If Phaneuf agrees to waive his clause it’ll allow the Senators to protect three defensemen (Erik Karlsson, Cody Ceci and likely Marc Methot) and seven forwards. If Phaneuf agrees he’ll be gambling on the Vegas Golden Knights opting to bypass him because of his age (32) and annual cap hit ($7 million) through 2020-21. 

THE BOSTON GLOBE: The Bruins did not ask David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Backes, and Zdeno Chara to waive their NMCs.

THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: The Anaheim Ducks and the agent for defenseman Kevin Bieksa would not confirm if he’d been asked to waive his NMC.






MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers yesterday formally announced the hiring of Bob Boughner as their new head coach.

ARIZONA SPORTS: Coyotes majority owner Andrew Barroway has completed his buyout of the team’s minority owners, making him the sole owner of the franchise.

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators GM David Poile made it clear he wants to re-sign team captain Mike Fisher to a new contract. Fisher, 37, is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: At Fisher’s age, he should be an affordable re-signing, perhaps to a one-year, bonus-laden deal. 


PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers and free agent Jordan Weal are getting closer to a new contract.