Evening NHL Rumor Mill – June 29, 2014

The latest on Jason Spezza, Kris Letang, Christian Ehrhoff, Ed Jovanovski and James Reimer.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch speculates the reason Jason Spezza rejected a trade to the Nashville Predators was that he didn’t believe he could win there. Garrioch also believes this situation could get “ugly, very ugly”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, it doesn’t appear as though it’ll get resolved before the UFA market opens on July 1. Could take a couple of days after the dust settles from the usual UFA signing frenzy to determine which clubs are still in the market for a second-line center. 

Penguins not shopping Kris Letang.

Penguins not shopping Kris Letang.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi reports offseason contract extensions for Marc-Andre Fleury and Paul Martin (who are eligible next summer for UFA status) are unlikely. He also reports Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said Kris Letang hasn’t been offered around in trade talks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise for any of these. Rutherford wants to see how Fleury and Martin perform next season before considering contract talks. Letang’s carrying a monster contract which starts next season and also has health concerns. 

BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres have bought out defenseman Christian Ehrhoff.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Detroit Red Wings are very interested in Ehrhoff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ehrhoff isn’t a right-handed shot, which is what the Wings wanted, but otherwise he could fit their need for another top-pairing defenseman. He would be more affordable than Matt Niskanen and he’s younger than Dan Boyle. 

TSN.CA: The Florida Panthers will buy out veteran blueliner Ed Jovanovski.

NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos reports the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t expected to make big changes to their core.

SPORTSNET’s Nick Kypreos reports via Twitter Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer requested a trade and there was strong speculation on the draft floor of talks between the Leafs and Winnipeg Jets, which could be revisited at a later date.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reimer is no longer considered part of the Leafs core. Little surprise he requested a trade. The Jets have for months been considered a potential trade destination for Reimer. 


  1. Reim-Time to the Islanders. Halak-Reimer could really improve their goaltending, give both a chance to revitalize their careers, challenge each other and play half a season each. Halak also acts as a halfway decent mentor for Reimer.

    Spezza will land with either Dallas or St. Louis, whichever doesn’t manage to land Statsny.

  2. Its too bad Reimer had such a crappy year as he is not a bad goaltender. If he goes to the jets what willthey give up? My bet is only a 2nd rounder next year and maybe a midlin prospect. Not related to story but the oilers just traded Gagner to Tampa for Purcell.

  3. No other team would want Kris ” overated” LEtang and his $7.25 mill and stroke/brain prob.

    Way to go Ray Shero!!!!

  4. Not surprised the Leafs will largely sit on their hands and do squat with this lineup. Nonis is useless as a GM and this team will continue to tank and struggle under Carlisle. Nonis is far too conservative as a GM but on the bright side, come next spring when the Leafs miss the playoffs again, Nonis will finally get tanked, Big Ted will hire the Great One To supervise Shanny and if the team sucked bad enough and finished dead last, they can draft first overall; and in proper Leaf tradition, trade that pick to another team for 3 stiffs, 2 equipment bags and one roll of tape.

  5. Not surprised at all that Reimer has requested a trade. Decent goaltender who amazed and dazzled at times but clearly wilted under Carlisle. Yes Reimer has elements to his game that need improvement but I would think as a coach, your task would be to mentor and help develop by way of building confidence in your goaltender since he is your last defencemen before the puck enters the net.

    Replacing Reimer with the rumored Brodeur to Toronto crap is a mistake. Brodeur is clearly past his prime; but would likely make a great goaltending coach and mentor to any organization; but as a player, why disgrace a sure fire Hall of Famer by continuing to believe you still got gas when you don’t. Have a seat Marty. We all admire you but its time to hang up the skates as a player.

    • Brodeur won’t be in Toronto. He has stated he wants to go to a contender, which clearly the Maple Laughs aren’t. He has also stated he would prefer to play in the US. I can see him signing a 1 year deal with Pittsburgh to help Fleury get his game straightened out and have a shot at winning the Cup. Their current backup is Zatkoff so it makes sense to bring in a veteran like Brodeur.

  6. Nate Thompson to the Ducks?

  7. Letang, Fleury & Martin should ALL be shopped … Ray Shero set this team back five years … soft & squishy with no physical d-men, other than Orpik who is gone … and I wasn’t impressed with Rutherford’s first major trade … this team is going downhill …

    • The return he got for Neal was actually pretty good. Give’s Geno a defensively responsible winger that was netting mid 20’s goals on a team not exactly known for it’s offensive prowess and either a third line winger to play with Sutter that has some offensive abilities or 4th line center. I’d take the net of their combined goals of 30-40 over two lines along with responsible two way play over Neal’s 30-40 and his antics any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    • I’m comfortable with Shero’s moves. He stocked up in soft, pucking moving defensmen. The idea being that you have a valued asset in droves that will compliment the high end offense. You keep the guys you want and trade the rest for the other things you need. We all know it is easy to find a gritty 3rd or 4th liner and very cheap to do so, but finding a top end puck mover is tough and expensive. Edmonton despirately needs someone like Letang to feed their stars and I think asking Eberle would be fair and provide a bit of savings.
      Love Orpik but he’s moving to the end of his prime, Letang’s contract is an albatross and should have been dealt. Martin as well after having a better year here. Fleury is the best goalie available for the price – so unless you can upgrade with a Quick or Bishop or someone like that it’s sort of like what’s the point in dumping him. Reimer wants out of Toronto so that could be a fun situation if they could get him to split time. Afterall Fleury’s best statistical years come where he’s played less than 60 games so he works best in a platoon anyway.

  8. No one going to mention Gagner for Purcell?

    • Gagner then traded to Arizona along with Crombeen for a 6th round pick.

  9. Keep Spezza.
    Keep Michalek
    Keep Hemsky
    Sign Erhoff.

    It won’t get “ugly”. It’s business. Garrioch is trying to sell newspapers again. Real fans know how to sift through his horse manure.

    Also, doesn’t McArthur need a new contract? And Lehner too?

    • Garrioch is trying to make a ‘mountain out of a molehill’. Murray was responding to a question about Nashville needing a 1st line centre and did they contact Murray. Murray mentioned he couldn’t go there because Nashville was on the no-trade list. But he said he took the offer to Spezza & his agent and they refused to go. Murray had permission to talk to teams on the no-trade list.

  10. Pens got hosed and everyone knows it. To get anything for martin or fleury before they walk for nothing should be Rutherford’stop ppriority this season if he finds anyone to talk about letank he should listen and listen long and hard about it before that contract kills us for years to come. How someone earns a 7.25 mil a season contract without playing a single 80 game season in his career kills me.