Latest Canucks, Leafs and Red Wings Rumors – May 27, 2014

More trade speculation about the Canucks, former Leaf Leo Komarov willing to return to Toronto, and Wings GM Ken Holland expects to talk trade at the upcoming NHL scouting combine. 

What moves will the Canucks make this summer?

What moves will the Canucks make this summer?

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jim Jamieson and Ben Kuzma the “deep six questions” facing the Canucks this summer. Among them is what to do with Ryan Kesler, whose list of six preferred trade destinations could expand by the NHL Draft weekend, especially if the Canucks haven’t hired a new coach by then. Kuzma notes Kesler is a big part of getting the Canucks back into the playoffs, but he’s also their biggest trade chip.

The Canucks must also find a scorer to play alongside the Sedin Twins, plus  improve their bottom-six forwards, which could be done via free agency. Defensemen Alex Edler and Jason Garrison could become trade candidates, though their struggles this season could hurt their trade value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks should rebuild but it appears they want to tweak things and push for the playoffs next season. How they’ll do depends on what moves new GM Jim Benning makes and which players (Kesler? Edler? Garrison?) are involved. If they get a terrific offer for Kesler they really should consider it.

NATIONAL POST’s Michael Traikos reports via Twitter: “Leo Komarov’s agent is in T.O. for draft combine. Says client will play in NHL and looking for long-term deal. Leafs still No 1 choice.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as he’s not seeking a ridiculous salary the Leafs should seriously pursue signing Komarov. Remains to be seen, of course, if they do so. GM Dave Nonis could’ve avoided this nonsense by re-signing Komarov last summer while passing on paying crazy-stupid money for David Clarkson. 

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland expects to talk trade with his fellow GMs at the upcoming NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto.


  1. @Lyle

    “GM Dave Nonis could’ve avoided this nonsense by re-signing Komarov last summer while passing on paying crazy-stupid money for David Clarkson.”

    While I know Clarkson at a glance looks like a complete bust, but I expect he’ll get closer to form this year, and hopefully by the end of the deal (as the Salary cap increases) be paid appropriately.

    • Also didn’t komarov basically say pay me 3.5 per or I’m going back home. I think he wants to showcase himself more at home to make the Olympic team..

      • Still wants to be paid like a top 6 guy, I really like him but if he wants more than 2.5 mill Id pass.

        • Yep I’d much rather have d’amigo at what 1 mill…

    • Clarkson is a complete bust. Guy is basically TO’s version of Leino. He scored 20+ goals in only one season and that’s the season where Leafs decided to drastically overpay the man. He’s a good 3rd-4th line energy type guy but that is about all.

      • Yup.
        As A Devils fan I knew that was a horrible contract. Clowe is not far behind on him on contract busts though.

        • Clowe’s contract is even worse. Clarkson’s injured less, scores more goals, and is more of a gritty presence. Plus, Clarkson scores key goals, like the ones that tie the game and the ones that win the game. He’s a lot better in the playoffs than Clowe is as well.

          Clowe, overall, is simply almost useless at this stage in his career. The only thing he can do is pass the puck.

  2. I think they should give Kesler the C,this might wake him up, and also free up Henrik to maybe re-activate the twins, true there still needs to be alot done but this might help and not affect the room too much.

    • I totally agree. I think it would take the pressure and distraction away from him so he can get back to playing hockey.

  3. I agree with Joseph, Clarkson can only get better than what we saw this year. He and Bolland will find their form and become the defacto leaders behind and alongside Phaneuf.

    As for Komorov, respectfully Lyle, I disagree with your comment “GM Dave Nonis could’ve avoided this nonsense by re-signing Komarov last summer while passing on paying crazy-stupid money for David Clarkson.” Komorov had a chance to earn $5 million per year, and play in another Gagarin Cup. He believed he could still play in the NHL the following year(s) but would never earn those type of dollars, or it would take him about five years to do so. He could not pass it up, and Nonis understood that, which is why I believe Komarov still has a soft spot for Toronto. I would love to see Komorov back, and I think he is the type of player the Leafs need on the third / fourth line in today’s game, but realistically he will not earn more than 1.5 million per year. He is not a comparable to Clarkson. Clarkson had a bad year, and hopefully that is a one off.Many teams would have given Clarkson the same deal, so not only do I think the Leafs did not overpay ( based on his previous season(s)), other teams would have paid him even more. The great thing about Clarkson is he that he knows he flamed out, and I believe he is anxious willing and able to do that. Ain’t no Ville Leino…………..

    • Murph, you couldn’t be more wrong about Clarkson. Take a look at his stats and you’ll see that the one off was him getting 30 goals, not the other way around and if you are expecting him to get back to that form, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Since the 2007/08 season he has only scored more than 20 ONCE, and that was his 30 goal season, the rest of the years he scored 9, 17, 11, 12, 15 and 5. So yes, Nonis did pay crazy-stupid money for David Clarkson.

      • CK, don’t get me wrong, I have no illusions that Clarkson will ever tear up the scoresheet again, his 30 goal season was the outlier. That’s what puffed up his F.A. Value for Toronto and if memory serves 5-7 other teams that were very close to Toronto’s offer, one higher than the one he accepted with TML.

        I do believe he can reach 15-20 goals, and be a very valuable asset in the playoffs.

    • “I agree with Joseph, Clarkson can only get better than what we saw this year.”

      Exactly what Sabres fans said about Leino. Clarkson will be awful for the remainder of his contract book it. You guys will never squeeze 15+ goals out the guy.

      • Play him with Kadri and he’ll get ya 20.

        • Played with Kadri, honestly I think he dragged Kadri down a bit. Needs some pp time and a bit more of a cycle game. Kadri is a little too much of a rush/skill type center. Clarkson looked better with Holland and Bolland, more of a distributor type center who can get the puck to him in tight and let him bang away at it. Again some weird coaching when your 2 c is more suited for the top line and your 1 and 3 c are suited better for a 2 c role than your 2 c is.
          The center position in Toronto and the way guys are used is a mess.

          • This kinda goes back to why I can see them moving Kadri, and resigning Bolland which is a bad move imo, dealing a young (still learning) 23 year old potential 1 C to get a 2 c to try and save the investment in Clarkson instead of playing Bozak as a 2 C or dealing Bozak and using someone who suits the role better to play with Clarkson.

  4. Sorry, edit

    The great thing about Clarkson is he that he knows he flamed out, and I believe he is anxious willing and able to do better next year. Ain’t no Ville Leino…………..

    • Ok to be fair the only way Clarkson could be in the same category as Ville Leino is to refuse to shoot the puck when a scoring chance become available and then when questioned about his lack of production blow it off like he work at the corner store.
      The team has tried to empower him through their Blue and Gold videos, he just doesn’t care anymore. Clarkson is not like that at all. next year should be back to a more normal pace for him if he can stay healthy.

      Predictions; Clarkson returns to form and scores 20 for the Leafs while being a force on the ice, while leading the team.
      Ville Leino, gets bought out and returns home never to be scene again and Tim Murray is required to answer for assault charges after he stuffs Ville’s contract down his throat…(jk)

      • With the Ville Leino contract I felt for the most part he was a victim of unfortunate luck – mostly his injuries. For the most part, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but this past season Ville showed his true colors. He just didn’t show. I write off the first part of the season with Rolston coaching as a “nightmare”, but for Ville the only requirement Nolan had was “work hard”. I can understand his frustration, but he also should have considered the frustration of Sabre fans and at least “faked it” instead of showing apathy. I guess the difference for me is I take a look at someone like Chris Stewart……who came back his injury too soon to contribute when he could have sat out the final games versus someone who just didn’t have heart. The season was a wash and I can understand why Ellis, Scott, D’Agostini et al played more minutes than Ville. It’s time for Ville to go home.

        Clarkson….I think he just had a rough year and hopefully he will get it together next season.

  5. Clarkson will be the leafs melky cabrerra. Got off to a bad start with suspension then battled injuries. Then when he started to put something together olympics. Obviously at this very moment it looks like an overpayment but at time there were 3 or 4 teams that would have offered same contract. If he gets more pp time and puts up 20 to 25 goals playing a physical game and continues sticking up fir teammates he will be worth every penny. Idk how many times i have said this. Clarkson came from a teamm with one of the best team structures in the leauge to one of the worse.

    • With my Oilers being one of those teams, I thank God that he pick the Leafs. There are certain players every now and then that do great with their original teams and then sign big contracts when they become UFA’s and fall right off. I had a feeling that Clarkson was one of those players.

      • He will never be worth the contract but he will bounce back to be around a 15 goal guy, 1 bad year doesnt make him Leino.

        • Doubt u guys ever get him to 15 goals. 14 if your lucky;)

          • Some of it goes back to coaching again…in NJ Clarkson put up alot of those goals with pp time standing in front of the net. He got almost no pp time in TO Randy prefers to drive his top guys in to the ground over using them, even when things are not working.

    • “Clarkson will be the leafs melky cabrerra.”….?????? He is going to take steroids to increase his batting average by .050+?

      • LOL! I was thinking the exact same thing NYR. Probably could have come up eith a better comparison at least in the same sport.

    • So he’s returning to the team with “one of the worst” team structure and the same coach. How will this help him improve?

  6. Canadian King,

    I have no illusions of Clarkson being a 30 goal scorer again, or even a 20 goal scorer. That is not why the Leafs signed him, and its not why other teams were willing and wanting to sign him and pay even more.

    Think of it this way. I am not comparing the two talent wise, but style wise. Dustin Brown. Has not been the biggest scorer for the Kings but he brings it every night with everything else, character, moxy grit, determination. Compared to last season you could almost argue his points are down almost 50%. Would I trade him for anyone else in his position right now? Not a chance. There are only a handful of guys like that who can also score here and there, and make other teams take notice. While lesser than Brown, Clarkson is one of those guys. Nonis said that at the signing. Clarkson may be overpaid, but almost all free agents are and will continue to be overpaid. Why? Because the best ones usually do not make it to free agency, and those that are left are bid up to unreasonable deals. But if the GM’s do not go after them they are castigated by fans and media. Hard to believe but the fact is Clarkson took a hometown discount.
    Anyway as a Leaf Fan, my second favorite team is the Kings, who I predict will win the Cup. Good luck the rest of the way!

    • The problem with that is when he is on your top two lines you need him to put up points regularly. I don’t believe he can do that, imo. Other wise you just have a huge contract playing on your bottom two lines taking up cap space.

    • The only other dumb gm that offered close to length and money was Edmonton! Clarkson was not as hot commodity as everyone thinks

      • “Clarkson was not as hot a commodity as everyone thinks”….Dreger is that you?

        • Only a few teams ( edm,tor,) couldn’t see that who Clarkson was playing with one year he got 30 wasn’t because of his skill AT ALL!! Kovalchuck parise I mean cmon nonis wake up

          • You mean Elias… he barely ever played with Kovy or traitor.

          • @MJR I, who you calling a traitor, dont be whiner…… he left to play for a better team.

    • Moxy, grit, determination and character are great things to have. However I don’t know that you can hang a dollar sign on intangibles like that. Ultimately when you are paid like Clarkson you have to produce also. You don’t get a free pass because of the other things you bring. Brown was paid for how he consistently performed, a 50 pt guy, Clarkson was paid for one good year but in reality is a 20-25 point guy. Brown is way down this year, but only this year. The Kings were on the bottom this year in scoring, and Toronto was one of the top scoring teams in the league.

      • Still way early to be comparing him to Leino past 2 years over 100 games Leino has 2 goals in 3 years he has 15, Clarkson has 20 over 2 and 50 over 3. It was a bad year, and no one is denying its a bad contract.

        • I agree, I wouldn’t put him in the Leino category, I also wouldn’t put him in the Brown category either. I truly think Clarkson is a 25 point guy, but any expectation beyond that is unrealistic.

        • I believe they were pretty close points wise this year.

  7. If Edler is available I expect Holland to be interested, not sure what it would cost though.

  8. Canucks should retire the Sedins to 2nd line and build a bigger,younger 1st line to handle the California teams

  9. Many players bust the first year of a newly signed big contract. I’ll give Clarkson another chance. Lieno as a comparison to Clarkson? So you take away the goals at least in Clarkson you have a player that will hit, fight and stick up for his team mates. Thats a skill or culture you can’t teach. I love Kulemin and the years he played for the Leafs, but one 30 goal season. I bet he still gets around 3 million as a ufa. Komorov another character player, that plays physical. Can’t have enough of these type players, as they make their team mates play bigger.

  10. Clarkson = Jason Blake
    One good season in his UFA year followed by a 360 back to reality.
    Nonis = JFJ

    • You mean 180… a 360 would ultimately spin someone in the same direction they were going.

      • LOL….too funny

        • Sorry I meant to say a 540 not 360 or 180. LOL

  11. Komarov’s improved a lot with the puck. I think he might even have the potential to be a 2nd line winger in NHL but I’m certain he’ll be a great 3rd liner with lots of passion for the game.

    • now this post is even funnier then my 360 screw up. LOL

  12. Guys like Komarov and Kostka were undervalued by the Leafs. While Bolland’s injury probably hurt them, they still can’t seem to sew together a full season.

    I mean, if all the four last seasons were 48 games, the Leafs would have been in the playoffs every year.

    Oh Nonis, thumbs up on Kessel, thumbs way down on Clarkson and Phaneuf.

    • Why the thumbs up on Kessel he gave him what he asked for and had to promise to keep Bozak on the top line. LOL

  13. I pray that somebody with the Wings’ organization will prevent Ken Holland from trading away the future of the franchise for other teams’ garbage. The Legwand fiasco should be the last straw, but Holland doesn’t answer to anyone. Patrick Eaves and a 5th rounder should’ve been sufficient to rent Legwand for a month, but Kenny had to toss in Calle Jarnkrok, who the Wings own scouts described as a future Zetterberg clone. Maybe Holland didn’t want George McPhee to hold the title of “worst fleecing in a deal with the Nashville Predators”?
    My prediction though? Holland deals away Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, and 2014 1st round pick for Ryan Kesler. Then deals Ryan Sproul, Darren Helm, and more picks for Christian Erhoff. Then, by noon, Holland will be on his second sixer of the day, and deals Petr Mrazek for the rights to Tim Thomas (Mrazek is way too “uppity” for Holland, just like Jarnkrok was). Then, when he’s on the verge of dealing Gustav Nyquist and Anthony Mantha for more “veteran leadership”, one of the Wing’s interns sacrifices his future career and tackles Holland on his way to the podium. When Holland sobers up the next day, he’ll quietly sign 4 or 5 UFA’s over the age of 35 to multi-year contracts.
    Seriously, as a born-and-bred Wings fan, I consider the fawning over of Holland by the hockey media to be absolutely ridiculous. The Wings win in spite of Holland, not because of him. The scouts, yes. The top-shelf team staff, yes. Having one of the finest coaches available today, yes. But not Ken Holland. Wings fans will someday rue the day that Steve Yzerman and Jim Nill left their franchise because of the stubborn primadonna dinosaur sitting in the GM chair.

  14. If Clarkson can contribute 3/4 of what Brown gives the Kings you will have some happy Leaf fans.