Latest Lightning, Canadiens and Kings Rumors – April 23, 2014.

Will the Lightning re-sign Ryan Callahan or bolster their defense this summer? Will Thomas Vanek re-sign with the Canadiens? Could the Kings face a shake-up this summer?

Will the Lightning re-sign Ryan Callahan?

Will the Lightning re-sign Ryan Callahan?

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance believes making a decision on Ryan Callahan tops the Lightning’s off-season “to-do” list. As with Callahan’s failed contract talks with the New York Rangers earlier this year, Custance speculates term could be as important for the Bolts as money, noting the 29-year-old winger’s style of play leaves him susceptible to injury. His offensive production will decline as he advances into his thirties. Custance also believes the Lightning must bolster their defense and get promising prospects Jonathan Drouin acclimated to the NHL next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Lightning want to re-sign Callahan, but they could balk if he sticks to his asking price from the Rangers  (seven-year, $6.25 million per). Improving their defensive depth is necessary, while Drouin could see his NHL debut next season.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Dave Stubbs reports Canadiens forward Thomas Vanek is soaking up the playoff vibe in Montreal, but the winger said it’s not fair to either side to talk contract right now. Vanek believes there will be plenty of time following the season for contract negotiations. He’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and there’s been some speculation in the media over his future.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Montreal fans and pundits hope Vanek will fall in love with the city and re-sign with the Canadiens. While I don’t dismiss the possibility, I wouldn’t get my hopes up, Habs fans.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: In the wake of the Kings falling behind 3-0 in their divisional semifinal against the San Jose Sharks, Helene Elliott speculates an early playoff elimination could spell the end of an era for the Kings. Only two years removed from a Stanley Cup championship, the Kings could face shaking up their core to address significant weaknesses within roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Elliott doesn’t speculate over which members of the Kings’ core could be moved. I’m sure there will be plenty of that around the league if the Kings are swept by the Sharks. Of their core, the only untouchables in my opinion are Jonathan Quick, Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov and Anze Kopitar. That leave Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and even captain Dustin Brown, who all lack no-trade clauses but also carry lengthy, expensive contracts


  1. If Richards and Brown continue next year as they have this year they maybe immovable contracts…Brown especially. Nearly 6 mill for 7 years with 12 goals is almost as bad as Clarkson….almost.

    • Almost? Naw man more then doubled up on him in the goals category I believe?

      Clarkson is in a league with Leino right now IMO. Not as bad but a tad better.

      • Really? year Clarkson makes 4.75 mill (bad I know)…Dustin Brown makes 7.25 mill….12 goals, I’ll say it again if Brown continues to play the way he is playing his contract is almost as bad as Clarksons.

        • I’d take kick to the nuts before I’d take Clarkson and his horrendous contract.

          Brown I wouldn’t mind. He’s got a lot of contract left I know but he’s got potential to be good. LA Kings weren’t scoring much as a team neither. His lack of offense is really due to the team as a whole.

          On the other hand we have Clarkson who failed to do absolutely nothing on one of the most offensively talented teams in the league. Clarkson had what one good season and Brown has had what 5 or 6 good seasons. Clarkson will never reach those numbers again. Brown on the otherhand will.

          Huge difference Shticky….

          Clarkson is in a league with Leino not Brown.

          • Huge difference…lol his best season was 60 points and he aint that young…not sure I’d trade Clarkson for him (Id prefer c none of the above) might just be digging a bigger hole in the cap, again assuming Brown continues with seasons below 30 points. I dont really care who it is, paying 30 year old guys with 30 points 7.5 million is a bad idea. Why do you think the Devils walked away from Clarkson or the Rangers traded Callahan? these type of contracts suck. If anything with the development of Tifoli, Browns icetime is likely to go down….he may get 20 goals but that dosent mean thats a good contract. Really I just find it funny if he was a Leaf or perhaps a Flyer or Ranger there would be conversations like should he be bought out, or the Captains C stripped off him and other nonsense.

    • Shtick – LA’s got itself in kind of a mess with the long term contracts of Richards, Carter and Brown. Even though they don’t have any restrictions on movement, I don’t think there will be a lot of teams calling based on the $ amount for the term (7 years). The whole series with the Sharks has been onesided – Sharks came out playing very physical, pounding the Kings and Quick – getting into his head.

      Maybe Toronto or Kings want to trade Clarkson or Brown for Leino.

      • Leino is a buy out. That’s the only way he’s gone. He’ll likely not get more than 10 goals again. He had one average season points wise in Philly and that was a massive overachievement

        Clarkson will only get you 12-18 goals a year. His 30 goal year was a fluke and a result of them not having much to work with. Look at Jagr with New Jersey this year. While he still has some left in the tank, its because they had no one else

        Brown will get 20 to 25 goals I would imagine over the next couple years still. Especially if he gets more than the 15 minutes of ice time he got most games this year.

        • Old arguement tho does Brown really deserve more ice time if thats all he is going to produce? I am not defending Clarksons contract I know it sucks. Brown is almost 30 I am not sure how you figure he doubles his production next year playing 3 more minutes a night 7.5 mill for under 20 goals for the next year and a cap hit of 6 mill for 6-7 years is a terrible contract for a guy who is 30 years old. You could make the same arguements for Clarkson….if he didnt get suspended and hurt or if he played more minutes….ya da ya da ya da . 12 goals 30 years old 7.5 mill, which of these things dont belong together? lol

          • how can you say u don’t know if you would take browns contract or clarksons?? Clarkson was never in the league as good as brown Clarkson is the worst contract by far and will be till its done

          • You are both dense, simple math if there are 2 players 1 makes 5 mill and 1 makes 6 and neither one gets 20 goals…Ill take the 1 that is 5 mill, and hope he puts up 15…nevermind the names and whats been drilled in to your thick heads. THEY ARE BOTH BAD CONTRACTS. I would take the cheaper bad contract that only last 6 more years as opposed to the more expensive bad contract that goes on for 8 years. Who cares who had more points 5 years ago. Please go on with your David Clarkson rants tell me again does Clarkson have a bad contract? Thick like brick.

        • I don’t see Clarkson reaching passed 10 goals ever again. Unless by some miracle Crosby comes to Toronto no way in hell he gets more then 10 goals a season. 10 seems pretty generous at this time as well.

      • Shticky look up Brown’s stats vs Clarkson’s stats. Sure Brown’s not worth his contract but he’s more worth his contract then that bum Clarkson is.

        Brown’s reached the 50+ plateau five times in his career and 40+ six times in his career and 20+ goals five times in his career. Not to mention a Stanley Cup.

        Clarkson has had exactly ONE season where he reached 40+ points and TWO seasons where he’s had 30+ points and only ONCE he’s reached the 20+ goal mark.

        Brown’s cap hit is only $5.273 compared to Clarkson’s at $5.25. On simply cap hit alone which is the only number we should be talking about unless of course you actually own the team. Brown’s the better investment. Get more offense and better all around game for $23,000 extra.

        • Jes you are totally missing the point. IM NOT SAYING CLARKSON IS BETTER. Browns contract is terrible if he continues he is 30 he is at the point in a career where numbers start to decline generally (if you look at his career stats that is already the case) He had 27 points this year and is getting 7.5 mill next year. If he is only going to put up maybe 15-20 goals and under 40 points Ill take my chances on a guy with a 5 million dollar contract over the guy with the guy who nearly gets paid 8 with a 6 million dollar hit. Jeesh Browns contract is terrible like Callahsn if he gets 6 like Clarkson and other guys who have really bad contracts.

          • And go look at capgeek Browns new contract starts nect year its 7.5 mill next year and a 5.85 mill cap hit for 8 years…terrible if he continues to be a 30-40 point guy.

          • I get what you are saying. I’m saying if I had to choose one or the other I’d take Brown’s contract any day of the week before Clarkson’s. Purely because Brown brings more to the table.

            But you are right about the horrible contract. It was a pretty bad contract when it was signed IMO and even worse now with the new CBA.

  2. Tampa Bay

    I’d sign Callahan if I were Yzerman. But a fair deal. Tampa needs the money to address their lack of defense also. So tying up all that money in forwards and average defensemen won’t get them out of the first around. Drouin will be sick next year.

    LA Kings

    Only changes I can possibly see them making is trading Brown. Stoll or Nolan. Bringing in someone like Sam Gagner?


    Hopefully Vanek signs in the West or even the Metropolitan division, don’t want him to turn into a Sabres Killer. I still believe he’s going home to Minnesota.

    Quick Question

    Do taxes play a part in players income? Like I know there’s taxes everywhere but does the percentage fluctuate much or is it relatively the same in most cities?

    • Not too sure if they want yo sign to a clarkson type deal. Better off letting him walk if he wants over five million. Agreed on both the gagner trade and vanek ideas. I doubt they post any deals inc rad jingo. Years ago the government made it illegal to show salaries parter taxes. Not sure why but…

    • Not 100 % sure but I believe there is no state tax on income in Florida. It varies state to state but is the same at a federal level.

      • @Shticky,
        You are correct, there are no state taxes in Florida.
        Yes, Taxes play a huge part in a players income. I was talking a few weeks ago here about Callahan being able to lower his demanding price in Tampa Vs. what he wanted in NY. Not only for income tax reasons, but for the overall cost of living, property taxes, etc. There is a HUGE difference between NY and Florida. A 5 million dollar deal in Florida probably equates to over 6.5 in NY.

    • Hey Jes,

      I suspect if Callahan were willing to sign for a reasonable amount he’d still be in NY. He wants a payday and with all of the young forwards in Tampa (Drouin, Palat, etc) I’m not sure they should tie up assets in Callahan.

      • Styx,

        Reasonable is a good chance. Like said above posters said taxes in NY are compared to Florida. Didn’t Callahan want $7 mill a year from Rangers? Then why wouldn’t he lower his asking price where taxes and cost of living are much lower? He probably wanted that big number because it’s New York City right?

  3. Re: Kings

    I think Brown stays for another year but Richards points have been in decline for awhile, hard to move his contract, buy out ? To me big question is will they resign Greene and / or Gaborik, as they may eat up a lot of cap space that is needed elsewhere. I can see Gabonik let go with Pearson & Toffoli getting more playing time. Greene is interesting and if a UFA will get a lot of looks as the options for UFA D-men July 1 looks thin and will get thinner by July 1 BUT Greene has had injury issues so not sure just how much and how many years would be offered.

  4. I could see Callahan signing for less to stay in TB because he won’t have to pay any state income tax in Fla which makes a huge difference compared to NY especially if you figure in the cost of living between the two states. Next, I could see the Sabres going after Brown for veteran leadership and to reach the cap floor.

  5. Kings made the playoffs and may get swept by one of the best teams in the league. Not sure what is so tragic about that in which a major overhaul is demanded. It’s not like the Kings have many options to improve the roster via UFA market, and trading said players will be difficult and costly as the Kings will most likely need to eat up salaries. Buying them out also very expensive.

    They just need to improve the defense, let go of their upcoming UFAs and let them deal with the embarrassment over the summer and see if they come back strong. Character will be a major test for these guys.

    • Agreed Mick, they didn’t look a whole lot better during the regular season the year they won the cup. This isn’t a team built to thrive in the regular season, not enough scoring. They should escel in the playoffs but have run into a buzz saw with the Sharks. They likely need to do a bit of retooling but can’t really afford to make drastic changes. Their prospect cupboard is a bit bare though so decline and dismay may well be on the way in a couple of years.

  6. If I’m a team like Florida, Edmonton or Toronto I’m calling LA about Richards. He was/is being reduced to basically 4th line centre or moved to the wing on second line. Which at his salary and the young forwards coming up I think he does become expendable. If your one of those three teams I mentioned you are in dyer need or a player like this, a proven winner at every level and a leader. LA May be in a tight position and need to get rid of him at a lower cost or even hold some salary which would be perfect for any of those three teams.

  7. One more player to add to LA’s untouchable list – Toffoli.

  8. As Tampa is likely to make a quick exit in the playoffs, they may be more inclined to invest money in more affordable players than in Callahan. The only way they sign him is for short term: 3, maybe 4 years at most and for $5 mil per. Now way he warrants more than that. The days of long term contracts is over….

  9. Guys like Richards and Carter won’t be difficult to move, and the Kings won’t be forced to take back salary to move them. Their contracts are long, but are actually not bad in terms of cap hit.

    Richards contract has 6 years left on it, and his cap hit is 5.75 million. Given the cap his increasing to 71 million, and likely going to rise steadily, teams will definitely take a run at Richards if he becomes available simply because defensively responsible centers who can play top 6 minutes are virtually impossible to get. He has scored less in LA than people would like to see, but everyone in LA scores less than they likely would with another team, so he is still likely considered a good bet to be a 50-60 pt center who is extremely good in his own end and be a leader. Considering Callahan will likely get 6 years and 5+ on the open market for pretty well the same traits, there would be takers. Maybe not at the price it cost to get him in LA, but teams would still be willing to cough up useful assets for a team looking to re-tool.

    Carter would be the more attractive option in my opinion. Sure his deal is 8 years left, but the cap hit of 5.27 million is very nice for a guy who has managed to consistently pace himself for 30 goal seasons every year since 08, which includes his time with a low scoring Kings team, and you got teams lining up. He’s reliable at both ends of the ice, he will score 30 goals over an 82 game season, is big, skates fast, kills penalties, has a lethal wrister, and can play all 3 forward positions. His versatility and affordability for a 30 goal scorer makes him attractive to every team, which could go a long way in driving up the price.

    I am not saying the Kings are likely to, or should make a lot of changes, just that if they do, they won’t have trouble getting teams to pay a reasonable price for these two. Their long term contracts are a hinderence, but since the cap hit is reasonable (given what players are asking for when they hit the market) teams will give up something of value for these guys. Also, their contracts don’t extend so long that you are likely to worry too much about cap re-capture. Richards contract expires when he is 35, and Carter’s when he is 37. Richards will likely sign another deal after his contract, Carter will likely at least play it out, or until the 2nd last year, making recapture a minor threat.

  10. Helene Elliott needs to relax. They haven’t even been elimiated yet and we’re ready to break up the team. We won the Cup two years ago, went to the Conference Finals last year, and now the world is coming to an end. Relax people.

    What the Kings need to do is get Gaborik signed to a reasonable contract (hopefully somewhere around $5M or $6M). Then they need to address the defensive issues by re-signing Greene and/or signing a defenseman.

    The one thing I think the Kings have missed is a big-body Penner type in front of the net. Finding somebody like that would be helpful too.

    And by the way, what’s to say that San Jose isn’t this year’s destiny team? What if they crush everybody on their way to winning the Cup. Are we going to break up the other three teams they squash?

    And regardless of the real money, Carter, Richards, and Brown all have very cap friendly contracts, so they are all movable. And let’s give Brown another year or two before we write him off.

    In the history of the NHL, three teams have come back from a 3-0 deficit. Maybe the Kings are number 4.