Latest Oilers, Predators and Lightning Rumors – April 18, 2013.

More speculation over Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner, the Predators plan for a “very busy off-season”, while Mathieu Garon and Ryan Malone could be coming to the end of their time in Tampa Bay.

Could Jordan Eberle become an Oilers trade candidate?

Could Jordan Eberle become an Oilers trade candidate?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: If it comes down to a choice between moving Jordan Eberle or Nail Yakupov, Jonathan Willis believes the Oilers should move the former.

EDMONTON SUN: Derek van Diest reports Oilers center Sam Gagner, a restricted free agent this summer, is hoping to reach a contract extension allowing him to stay through the club’s rebuilding process.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While new Oilers GM Craig MacTavish hinted at making bold moves in the off-season, it remains to be seen what he has in mind, let alone if they involve Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner or any of the other young Oilers stars. Of the group, Gagner’s contract situation could make him a trade candidate, though he’s been a fixture in the rumor mill the past couple of seasons. This time, however, Gagner is in line for a significant raise, and the Oilers willingness to pay it will determine his future in Edmonton.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reported Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz recently said he expected his club, having been eliminated from playoff contention, will be “very busy” this summer. The Preds have close to $22 million in cap space this summer, with Patric Hornqvist and Roman Josi their only notable free agents.  Cooper subsequently interviewed Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran, who said the club has the financial flexibility to bolster its roster, stressing the Predators would be a ‘cap team’ in the coming years, especially after Shea Weber’s front-loaded deal goes down in three years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been some speculation the Predators could try to move Weber after July 24, a year to the day they matched the Flyers expensive offer sheet last summer. GM David Poile, however, has rejected that notion, citing Weber and goalie Pekka Rinne as the two players he intends to build around.  Cooper noted the declining salary cap for next season could force some high-salaried teams to dump some contracts via trade and buyouts, which could work in the Predators favor. Despite missing the playoffs this season, the Predators remain a well-regarded franchise, and having two stars like Weber and Rinne could prove attractive to some free agents.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Backup goalie Mathieu Garon understands his time with the Lightning is winding down. The Bolts intend to go with recently-acquired Ben Bishop and currently-sidelined Anders Lindback as their tandem next season, meaning Garon won’t be re-signed this summer.

RDS.CA: Renaud Lavoie suggests Lightning forward Ryan Malone could become an amnesty buyout candidate this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the Bolts have around $2.6 million in cap space for next season, they must create more room if they’re to bolster their lineup for next season. They’ll get around $3.6 million free up by placing Mattias Ohlund (knee injuries) on LTIR, but that won’t be enough. Buying out Vincent Lecavalier’s huge contract makes the most sense, but I don’t know if GM Steve Yzerman is willing to do that this year. Malone, who’s been hampered by injuries in recent years, could be a more likely buyout candidate.


  1. Spector – Question? Vinnie 4 is probably not the best regarded captain in the league, nor are his current skills worth the price being paid. However, there is real value in his being a draft – to – retirement player, he has a cup so no need to move to get one. Is it legal for a club to buy out a contract then re-sign the player, as a way to re-negotiate? Not all buy-outs would have to be hostile if both the player and the team see the same reality.

    • I don’t think a team can sign a player after he gets bought out by that same team.

      • Once a team buys out a player, they cannot sign him for one calendar year from the date of the buyout. In other words, if Lecavalier were bought out on June 30 of this year, the Lightning couldn’t try to sign him again until June 30 of next year.

    • I was wondering the same thing because of Luongo’s contract.. but im guess you can’t because other teams probably would have done it by now

  2. I don’t think the Bolts will do anything too drastic. Buying out Malone would make sense if he can’t gain trade market value. Expect rumors that the Rangers will buyout Richards and that the Bolts will want to bring him back, which could also lead to rumor mongers out there saying that the Bolts and Rangers could make a trade around Richards and Malone, which would give TB Stamkos and Richards as centers, and be able to try and trade Lecavalier or buy him out.

    Again, that’s all fantasy-like rumor mongering.

    Edmonton do not need to make bold moves just for the sake of making bold moves, but trading Gagner may be possible if the return equals a young stud d-man. If the Panthers will be able to draft Seth Jones, then they could be offering Kulikov to Edmonton for Gagner.

    Nashville needs to realize sooner or later that Trotz is not adapting well enough to today’s game. You can put Crosby, Malkin, and Ovechkin on this team yet it would still be playing tight defensive hockey and be in the bottom half of the league in scoring.

    I am surprised that Detroit isn’t making headlines. They need to revamp the team, big time.

  3. Holland’s refusal to get scoring help has doomed the Wings. He did nothing at the deadline to help or rebuild the team. Streak Ended.

    • the free agent pool will be better for the wings than some rental player who you would of have to give the farm for.. there’s going to be a lot of names out there because of the buyouts like Ballard and Booth or even Luongo

  4. I believe that the bolts need to do something drastic because if they don’t they will end up giving the fans the same product they had on the ice this year. Getting Bishop will help the goaltending but I’m not sure either him or Lindback are number one’s yet. It may end up being beneficial when both play their best to ensure they get the next start.
    It will be difficult to do much maneuvering being so close to the cap, but letting Vinny go would open up the team to many possibilities. Seems to be a no brainer for Yzerman, depending on how loyal he is to Lecavalier. He should do what is best for the team. The bolts really need to improve the defense more than anything now. Getting two decent defenders for the money gained from letting Vinnie go would go a long way to improving this team.
    Trotz has been an exceptional coach for the predators as he has done what he could with what he has been given to work with. They really miss Suter, much more than I thought they would. I would definitely keep Rinne, however I would also seriously consider trading Weber for a couple of decent scorers and a can’t miss prospect. Being a defense minded team is no problem, as a matter of fact it is absolutely necessary. However you also have to have a team that can take advantage of strong defensive play and turn opportunities into scoring chances. Nashville is and has been for the most part unable to do this, although I have been impressed by a couple of their offensive call ups recently. Nashville needs a change and so should move Trotz up into middle management somewhere since he is the only coach they have ever known.
    MacTavish(wrong hire in my opinion) says big changes are coming. Well, thats easier said than done and just like a politician can change his mind in a heart beat. Its true changes are needed but what changes are needed? Mac has to be very careful he makes the right moves since it is rumoured guys like Yakupov or Eberle could be moved. Now if they get proven players in return thats okay but getting prospects and picks is not, unless of course they get the chance at getting Jones. If Florida gets the first pick perhaps Edmonton sends them Eberle and their first for the first overall, Kulikov and someone like Kopecky. The oilers should probably work on a getting a couple of veteran third line checkers as well.

  5. If Craig Mactavish is going to shake up the roster this year? If he can? And a D-man is what they are looking for. Do you think they could pry away Gudbranson out of Florida? Say maybe for Yak’s? I dunno, that’s one player i’d like to see as an Oiler. He seems like he could do well in his career.
    But as an Oiler fan, i would hate to see Gagner go. When we got him and he made the team his first year, i was hoping for big things from him. He may not be a Crosby or Stamkos kinda player, but he’s got heart.
    He could be a future captain. Good little hockey player.
    As for Hemsky, yeah, if they can move him, i think they should. He had his time in Edmonton. I think it’s time for a change there. Maybe package him with Paajarvi, to a team looking for some offensive help?
    Even though they both haven’t had that kinda year. There’s still good hockey in them. Perhaps a different system is all they need?
    And for Horcoff, well i’d hate to see a player who’s given so much to this team be bought out, but if it helps us become better, i guess it has to be done. He does have a large salary for a 3rd or 4th line centerman.
    And you gotta keep Smid and Eberle, come on, most nights those are our two best players.
    As for the rest, i’d say they’re open for moving if need be. Except of course for Hall, Hopkins & Schultz!
    Well that’s my two cents for what it’s worth? :p
    Fantasy note: I always wanted the Oil to get all three picks for 2010. Hall, Seguin & Gudbranson.
    Now, if they had enough, to get them, I’d sure be in favor of it 😉

  6. Trade Eberle? That’s the kid you build around. He is a clutch player… Sure you would get a lot for him…but they will regret it if he’s the one traded.

    • Agreed, the only reason I said him instead of Yakupov was because I have received nothing but flak when I mention moving the Yak.