Latest Leafs, Rangers, Blues and Senators Rumors – December 19, 2013.

The NHL trade freeze goes into effect at midnight tonight. Here’s the latest on the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Blues and Senators.

Leafs getting inquiries about James van Riemsdyk.

Leafs getting inquiries about James van Riemsdyk.

TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis has been “trolling the league” for deals. Nonis admits he’s received offers for James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly, Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer, but the proposed returns won’t help the Leafs. Nonis claimed he’s not shopping Gardiner but Dreger reports rival management sources say Gardiner’s name has been brought up as the Leafs GM searches for a top-six forward…Dreger also reported the NY Rangers are shopping Michael Del Zotto and the Leafs may be interested but the Rangers’ asking price of a top-four defenseman is too steep. The Rangers could be targeting Cody Franson as they’re in need of a right-handed shot on their blueline.  The Senators are also thought in the mix for Del Zotto but their interest may have cooled with the emergence of Cody Ceci.  Dreger claims the Senators are willing to move either Eric Gryba, Joe Corvo or Patrick Wiercioch to teams seeking a defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of those Leafs mentioned in Dreger’s piece, Gardiner and Reimer seem the only ones Nonis could be willing to move provided he gets a quality return. Right now, that’s not going to happen. The Rangers will have to lower that asking price for Del Zotto if they hope to move him.

USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen examines the pros and cons of the Rangers trading or re-signing Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi, who are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer. Allen believes each player could land a veteran player plus a draft pick or prospect, but the Rangers would immediately miss either player.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still believe the Rangers intend to re-sign the pair and will be very surprised if either guy is moved by the March 5 trade deadline.

TVA SPORTS: Jean-Francois Chaumont reports St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak hasn’t spoken yet with Blues management about a new contract and doesn’t expect to negotiate during this season. Halak said he’s like to remain with the Blues but the final choice is up to management.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch has been shopping for a top-six forward and a defenseman but so far no luck. Garrioch doesn’t expect Murray to make a move before the upcoming Christmas trade freeze.


  1. So in other words Nonis isn’t trading anyone because he won’t part with his good young players and no one wants the rest of his team. He also said he isn’t contemplating firing Carlyle.
    Sounds like what Burke said two years ago as the wheels were falling off.

    • Exactly !!!
      I said that yesterday …. JVR should be close to untouchable …if Nonis moves him hes lost his mind! Young and contract is perfect !

      I would do a Franson or Gardiner for Girardi deal in a heart beat.

      Ottawa looks like the Leafs when they play ….carbon copy, good goalies soft forwards , up and coming Defense , not consistent missing that one dynamic player who changes the game when he can ….oh and Karlson and Gardiner are giveaway machines

      • The only difference is that Karlson won a Norris and gardiner is still pretty much a rookie in the league … Karlson is a untouchable and gardenier leafs willing to trade big difference … Simple the leafs want something of quality they have to give something of quality and no clarkson isn’t something of quality when his contract doesn’t match the stats I knew teams would get screwed with clarkson he is a good player but also the system has to be the right one for him to score 20 goals …
        Guys on the bubble and worth going after del zotto, gaborik, kadri, gardenier ,

    • I don’t understand why’d they wanna get rid of JVR? Other then Kessel he’s there best player.

      • They don’t want to get rid of him, that’s the point.

  2. Perhaps its me, but wasn’t it relatively recently that Del Zotto was a gem of a player? Is his cap hit preventing NYR from resigning others?

    Re: Leafs rumors, as much as I like Gardiner it sure seems like he’s going to be the one on the way out, even though he’s not performing any worse than other slumping players on the team.

    As I do my level best to be rational Leafs fan not suggesting insane trades etc, here’s how I’d grade the current defensemen.

    Dion Phaenuf – B+, No 2.
    – When he plays a low risk game, he’s actually quite good, quickly interrupting and redistributing pucks away from the opposing team. I get down on him often when he brain cramps, but he does do a lot of the ‘little (but important) things’ well.

    Morgan Reilly – too early to grade, but a skater, very strong on and off the puck and he is getting more confident every game. Schenn looked very good in his first year too however. Here’s hoping he becomes the future star of the D.

    Jean Micheal Liles – B, 5-6th D.
    – I have yet to notice a gaffe from JML. I’ve also not noticed him scoring but at least I don’t worry about him.

    Jake Gardiner – B, projection – 3-4th D
    – Risk taker but very good vision. Still young, needs to be paired with a very conservative partner.

    Cody Franson – B, projection – 1st/2nd D.
    – Good physical play, very good offensive upside. Trying to do too much recently, hence his own brain cramp’itis. Still not the bonefide stud, but I believe he has a greater upside than Phaenuf.

    Mark Fraser, (this year) B-, projection 3rd/4th Defenseman
    – Shutdown potential, but having a rough year.

    Paul Ranger – C-, current projection – retirement
    – Our new Komisarek, at less than half the price. I hope he turns it around, for his own career, great if it happened here but he’s a risk on the ice currently, can’t keep up with the speed of the game.

    • awfully generous with your grading!!

      • I wonder why why Ranger or Fraser not being replaced with Grandberg?

      • I may be being generous, but I’m not stating we have more than second tier talent.

        • Slightly generous but still a good post. I’m sure Mr. Negative “Ron” will trash it though.

          • I’m sure you’re right about the generosity, I’m looking at a situation if the players are playing well within any modern coaching system, how good they could be.

            Ultimately I’d like to see Phaenuf elsewhere, but I can appreciate him when he doesn’t try to be a hero. Just rarely see that in recent times.

          • LMAO …you mean Ron Less …sorry More ?

          • Exactly, Ron – Less is More. This guy is brutal. He trolls though the posts and trashes the guy writing it but never adds a post of his own for fear of getting slammed himself. I’ve coined him “Mr. Negative” but Mr. Miserable would be more suitable.

    • Great post, I would rate Phaneuf a little lower. I don’t believe he’ll be worth more than $7 Mill a year which is what they might sign him for (hopefully it’s a short term though). If it was up to me I’d test the market to see who may be interested in him.

      I like what I see in Franson and Reilly, they both have much maturing to do.
      I’ve always been a fan of Liles, his only drawback is the lack of physical play, otherwise he’s a solid D-man in my eyes.
      Fraser has some skill and potential but still only a 3rd line D-man.
      Gardiner is the wild card here. Because of the offensive talents of the rest of the D-corps (not including Fraser and Ranger) he seems to be the best trade bait.

    • MDZ’s contract isn’t bad. His play, on the other hand, has been just awful. He seems incapable of playing AV’s defensive system and he’s dried up on offense, just like the rest of the team.

    • What happened to Gunnarsson? Where’s the grade for him?

      • After seeing Mark Fraser getting graded as a B for a 3 or 4th d man there was no room for Gunnarson…lol Fraser isnt even an NHL defence man maybe a B ahl 3or 4 dman I realize he might be hurting a bit but seriously the guy is no where near anything but a 6-7. He has 1 short year last year as a decent bottom pairing guy (contract year at that). I feel sorry for any team that has thoughts of playing Franson as a top pairing D man let alone with thoughts of him being a good one ( graded Framson a b for top pairing D men? Really???). Ya Ill agree and say just slightly (sarcastic) generous. How does one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL have an average grade of B on defense? You call Ranger our new Komisarek and give him a grade of C? Wow I wish I went to a school like that when I was younger…Days and days of eating glue making macaroni art and calling it potential to be the next Picasso.

  3. “Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis has been “trolling the league” for deals. Nonis admits he’s received offers for James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly, Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer, but the proposed returns won’t help the Leafs.”
    Yikes. So what does that mean?
    Draft picks and prospects? Or nothing of value?
    From this list I expect Gardiner/Franson and Reimer to be dealt.
    Maybe a package of Kadri/Gardiner for a significant upgrade but probably not until the offseason.

  4. Does anyone think that a trade between Phiily & Toronto makes sense
    Tor: Schenn brothers
    Philly: Kadri, & Gardner
    Philly would love Gardner & Kadri has more offensive upside than Braydon Schenn
    Toronto would love Braydon Schenn as he brings more of a complete game & Luke Schenn wouldn’t have to be the number 1 D that he had to be when he was drafted, he could settle in as Morgan Rielly’s defense partner on the 3rd pairing.

    • Sorry Kev but no way Philly does that trade, B Schenn >>>>>>>>>Kadri and right now L Schenn>>>Gardiner. TO would have to sweeten that just to get Holmgren to pick up the phone.

      • Why would the Leafs want Schenn back after we ran him out of town because he was slow and flat footed. Schenn is another Fraser. Makes no sense.

    • That might be a decent move – hey I would love to watch a game without Jake Gardiner constantly giving up odd man rushes or turning over the puck in the corner and letting the guy walk out in front of the net. Can you also trade: Gunnarsson, Phaneuf, Fraser, Ranger, Lupul, Kessel, Raymond, that’s just a start. All those guys are being exploited badly right now as well?

      The problem isn’t the personnel, it’s that the personnel aren’t playing as a team. They make far too many defensive gaffes and they can’t get the puck out of their own end. I would think other teams are salavating at the chance to play the Leafs right now. As long as you maintain a certain amount of forechecking pressure you will score plenty of goals because the Leafs can’t defend. Something has to change. Ultimately Carlyle must be fired if this continues. He established a work ethic last year. This year we’ve reverted right back to the Ron Wilson days.

    • What’s with this whole thing about getting brothers on the same team?

      • It’s worked so well for Philly and the Canes. lol

        • Eh. Jordan Staal has been a little bit of a disappointment.

          • Tough call on Kadri B Schenn they are on pace to finnish with pretty much the same totals (25 goals or so and 60 points)and career wise they have close to the same ppg.
            Kadri .606 ppg over 80 games
            B Schenn .606 ppg over 88 games

            But not even close as far as I would want no part of the deal Luke Schenn for Gardiner.

  5. Why has Bruce Garrioch been shopping for a top-six forward and a defenseman? 😛

    • Isn’t it obvious, they waited too long to do their Christmas shopping!

    • Haha, I noticed that too. Didn’t realize he’d taken over as GM. :)

      • God help any other team if Mr. Garrioch was their G.M. There would be trades made weekly if not daily! It would certainly keep this site busy though…

  6. the fact the JVR’s name would even be considered in a trade is crap, if nonis is dumb enough to trade a young guy like him who’s a great duo with phil, then i’m definitely cheering for a new team. if it were between trading gardiner or rielly it’s see you later Jake, Rielly has way more upside and is pretty much on par with Gardiner at 19 years old. This quick fix team who refuses to groom its own talent is the problem. apparently we should trade all of our young kids away like Kadri, Rielly, Gardiner, Riemer, couple more first round picks.

    • There is no way in heck …Nonis trades JVR ….absolutely insane !

  7. Here is another trade possibility:
    Car: Riemer & Gardner + 3rd rounder
    Tor: Khudobin & Skinner

    • Carolina is trying to drop a goalie. Why would they take another one back in a trade?

    • Carolina may have offers on the table for Ward and this deal may help them out.

    • Lol why in gods name would Carolina do that? Lol thanks Kev I had my laugh of the day earlier then I expected.

      • why would toronto do that?? skinner is talented but injury prone and small

        • Aki are you for real? Skinner is by far the best player in that ridiculous trade.

  8. The longer Toronto holds onto Gardiner and the more he gets exposed the less they will get in return. Gardiner plus to Phi for Simmonds.

    • Probably have to throw in a 1st I’d think for Simmonds. If I were Nonis I’d try and nab Cotourier.

      • I don’t think there is a GM in the league who would give up a 1st for Simmonds, especially with his current stats. And the flyers will not trade Couturier.

        • Who the hell is giving up a first for Simmonds? Let alone a first plus Gardiner?Gardiner is a plus 10 with 11 points Simmonds is minus 9 with 15 points. To make it a little clearer the guy who plays D has a better plus minus by a mile and almost as many points as the forward. Sure Jes that idea almost seems right….

  9. Now is the perfect time for any team to get Simmonds as his value is a little bit down. I think he play anywhere in a top 9 given the right mix. (Think skilled Clarkson :p)

    • Simmonds a skilled Clarkson. That makes him worth $8M for 20 years then. lol

  10. Sens move a d-man to get Borowiecki in the line-up, kid looked good while with the big club. He plays a physical game which is what the Sens are lacking IMO. Lots of big bodies on the back end but aside from Methot none are very physical.

  11. i would move gardiner if a center was comming back al la couturier or someone like that. i would move reimer but i would try and get a first back. this rebuild needs to take time. our defense is just awful at times. we need to add some talent there (like everywhere/one else). i’d love to try and get that olekiak from dallas or one of those big bastards that only play defense. JVR i wouldnt move unless our socks were knocked off. i doubt that will happen. reimer and gardiner, if an appropriate amount was offered should go. i’d move most players on the team depending on the return. now if someone out there would take bozak i’d be a happy man

    • Keep on dreaming, Couturier would cost much much more than that, you dont see all his glory starring at the score sheet, but watch some games and you’ll see what he brings to the table, and there is no way in hell that trade would fly.

      • So very true. I’ll call it wishful thinking. Have to think though that at some point either he or schenn will be made available. I hope we can jusmp on it when it happens

  12. Trades!

    Toronto gives: Kadri, Gardiner, Kulemin
    Toronto gets: Spezza, Condra, Gryba from Ottowa

    Toronto gives: Clarkson
    Toronto gets: Hemsky from Oilers

    Toronto gives: prospect or very low pick
    Toronto gets: Hal Gill from Philly

    Philly gives: Hartnell, McGinn, Mezzaros
    Philly gets: Korpikowski and Yandle from Phoenix

    Washington gives: Neuvirth, Fehr, Beagle
    Washington gets: Glencross, Stajan and MacDonald from Calgary

    Washington gives: Orlov and Volpatti
    Washington gets: Nikitin from Columbus

    • And everyone gets a pony! 😉