Latest on Letang, Lecavalier and the Blackhawks – June 28, 2013.

Having reject a big offer from the Penguins, is Kris Letang a goner? Which clubs could get into the bidding for Vincent Lecavalier?  What’s the latest on Dave Bolland, Bryan Bickell and Ray Emery? Read on to find out!

TRIBLIVE.COM/POST-GAZETTE.COM: report Kris Letang rejected an eight-year, $56 million contract offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins. It’s believed Letang seeks $7.5 million per season. His agent, Kent Hughes, maintains his client wants to remain with the Penguins and they haven’t quit negotiations with the club.

Kris Letang rejects $56 million offer from Penguins.

Kris Letang rejects $56 million offer from Penguins.

TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby wonders if Letang’s rejection of the Penguins latest offer could stoke speculation of him heading to the Maple Leafs via trade.

TORONTO STAR: Curtis Rush mused over the prospect of Letang and Vincent Lecavalier playing for the Leafs, though the price for landing both would be very expensive.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance lists the Montreal Canadiens, NY Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks as possible destinations for Vincent Lecavalier.

CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Ben Raby wonders if the Capitals might have interest in Lecavalier if they should part ways with Mike Ribeiro.

TAMPA TRIBUNE: Erik Erlendsson lists potential free agent options for the Lightning to replace Lecavalier, including Mike Ribeiro, Daniel Briere, Derek Roy and possibly Tyler Bozak.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Letang camp wants over $7 million per season, that could force GM Ray Shero to shop him. He’s worth a raise, of course, but not to $7.5 million per season. Still, if the Penguins don’t pay him, other deep-pocketed, free-spending teams might be willing to do so. I don’t think, however, the Maple Leafs would do it, especially when they’ve got to re-sign Phil Kessel, who will almost certainly seek over $7 million per season. Unlike Letang, Kessel would be worth it.

As for Lecavalier, I think what tips the scales is playing for a Cup contender. If the Blackhawks came calling, I think Lecavalier would be seriously tempted, but the ‘Hawks are pressed for cap space. If the Rangers shed Brad Richards, I could see them going hard for Lecavalier. Playing with Alex Ovechkin  in Washington could be a strong enticement for Lecavalier. As for the Habs, that’ll depend on if GM Marc Bergevin thinks Lecavalier’s a good fit on his rebuilding team, and if Lecavalier would be comfortable living the fishbowl existence of a Hab. The Leafs could use him, but is he still capable of playing as a first line center? Given his age, injury history and declining production, I have my doubts.

CSN CHICAGO/ESPN CHICAGO/NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Tracey Myers reports Blackhawks center Dave Bolland is taking the recent trade rumors about him in stride. “I’d love to be back here next year, but whatever happens, happens,” he said at Thursday’s media availability. “It’s the NHL. Trades happen. I’d love to be back here, I love Chicago. But it’s a game and this is what can happen.” Myers also reports pending UFA winger Bryan Bickell wants to re-sign with the Blackhawks, a feeling mutually shared by GM Stan Bowman. Scott Powers reports Blackhawks backup Ray Emery would love to re-sign. Joe Yerdon cites reports the Blackhawks intend to buy out Steve Montador and Rostislav Olesz, which should put a end to speculation the Blackhawks might shop Marian Hossa in a salary-dumping trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Bolland is dealt, I believe that’s to clear his $3.375 million salary in order to re-sign Bickell. As for Emery, it could depend upon what he’s seeking for a salary. No surprise Montador and Olesz will be bought out.


  1. It always makes me laugh to read everyday that all of the big name players want to go to Toronto. The media has done a great job of promoting the Leafs as the prime destination of the NHL. With so much exposure the Leafs do not need scouts to oversee all the players on other teams. Nonis can just sit back and wait for the agents to call. Letang is a prime example of the greed of the players and the lack of common sense. The players want to be on a cup contender, but if 4-6 players take up over 50% of your cap; what is left for the rest of the team? As Chicago has shown, you need depth! You can’t get quality depth when you are paying the balance of your team an average of 1.5 million a year. After you hit the 5 million mark what do they need the extra 1-5 million for? Leave some for the rest of the team and you can have your contender and a better chance of actually winning the cup.

    • You have to admit the Leaf media always make things more interesting. lol

      The Leafs won’t pay Letang so he will be shipped to a team that can afford his extention or to a team that is a contender and realizes they are getting him for one year. I think the Leafs realize Grabo was a mistake and made sure they got Lupul for the right price and will try to play hardball with Kadri, Franson and Bernier (not sure if they will be successful). They are now trying to rid themselves of the final year of Phaneuf’s $6.5M.

      I think Nonis’s cap for any player (in his head) is under $6M except for a Chara/Weber type of D man. Other then that I believe Kessel is as good as gone if he wants more then $6M.

      • you are the guys that read it

    • BTW it also seems like every player is always headed to Philly or NYR too, not just Toronto.

      • In Van Nonis was a pretty good cap GM and was a guy who found away to get good value (letting Catrer walk Sedins extension finding Burroughs Willie Mitchell Pyatt..etc) due to the Canucks being up against the cap I’m not too worried about the way he will deal, with the RFAS just hope he dosent do anything stupid involving guys like Letang or Stasny

      • Or Montreal, Ottawa, Detroit, Pittsburgh and/or Vancouver

    • I am a Leaf fan and this drives me nuts. Other fan bases don’t do this. The sense of entitlement is staggering, and the butthurt that emanates out of Toronto whenever some player decides to go anywhere else (or stay put) is amusing as hell.

      • Really? Think the Yankees Cowboys Eagles Kniks Cubs Redsox NY Giants an Jet fans don’t get this way? I’m sure we are a team party compared to most lol

  2. The question with Lecavalier is does he have any fire left in his belly? Does this guy want to be a number one center surrounded by to fantastic wingers in a fish bowl where his every move is scrutinized and where if he performs he is considered as much of a saviour as the all mighty Christ (ie Toronto) or does he want to wither and die out his career in mediocrity ie Nashville (no offense to Nashville).

    • i thought I read somewhere that he does want to leave the states. Who knows, he might just go right down the hghway and play for the Panthers. One way or the other, he’ll have plenty of options.

      • Brad May (sportsnet) said that Vinny doesn’t want to play in Canada (I can’t see him making it up). Once Luo is bought out by van he will probably sign with Florida. If they could land Vinny then that team looks a lot better really fast.

  3. I would say the Flyers will be in on the Lecavaliar bidding. I know people will say they dont have the cap space but with Pronger on the IR they have much more space than people seem to think, and if they can unload Meszaros contract in a cash dump trade they have like 14m to spend. I could see Lecavaliar get as much as 5 yrs 5.5m. As for Letang, he is crazy to shoot down that offer, If Pit does trade him to another team his weeknesses will be exposed by not playing with Crosby and Malkin and his value will plumet. Take the deal Kris!

    • I do not think Flyers can trade or waive Meszaros. He is injured.
      I do agree that Flyers have a lot of cap space with Pronger on LTIR. At least over 8M.

    • Flyers need to focus on defence upgrade (and goaltending) not depleting it more.

  4. I don’t think Letang will be sent to the Leafs. They don’t have any attractive pieces that they would probably be willing to move. I still think he is sent to a team like the Oilers in a package including the 7th overall pick.

    • The Oil can’t afford to tie up $8M for 8 years with all the talent they have to ink in the next few years if they want to remain competitive in a cap world. I don’t see that happening. Maybe Calgary but I don’t see Letang wanting to sign an extension with the awful rebuild they have going on right now.

      • The Oilers could do it. Letang’s cap hit doesn’t go into affect until 14-15, when the cap will probably be at around $69 million. They would have used 24.775 million in cap, and I’m assuming they will buyout Horcoff, which means they would only have used 19.275 in cap. Assuming that in the Letang deal, Paajarvi and Petry would be leaving, and they sign Letang to a $7.5 million deal, that would bring that up to 26.775 million on 3 F and 2 D.

        Their RFA’s (and what they will sign for) are:

        Gagner: I’ll guess $4.5 million per
        Schultz: I’ll guess $4 million per
        RNH: I’ll guess $5 million per

        That would mean that they would have 40.275 committed to 5 F and 3 D. Of their UFA’s over the next 2 years, I’ll guess they will keep:

        Dubnyk: I’ll guess $4.5 million per

        I just don’t see any other UFAs that would be kept. They are all awful. The lines would be:




        They have a lot of D prospects that will be NHL ready very soon, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Klefbom, Marincin or Musil in the lineup. I’ll guess Marincin, since he already has a season in the AHL to be on the 3rd pair.

        So that’s around $28 million to find a backup goalie, a 2nd line winger and a complete 3rd line and 4th line and a 2nd and 3rd pairing D. Using the Pens as an example, their 3rd line cost $6 million, their 4th line cost $2.5 million, their backup goalie was $2 million and their other 3rd pairing D took up about $2 million. So that’s $15.5 million to fill up a 2nd line LW and a 2nd pairing D. They can do it.

        • Jose now that everyone knows Letang wants 8 mill a year after this year I really believe your value of Letang is way off you got to view him now as more of a rental any becent GM I think is going to want to be sure on this guy before they sign him for that kinda dough and might be willing to give up a pretty decent pic and a player but are not going to be willing to sell the farm for a guy they might decide to let walk I can’t see Letang with 1 year left on a 3.5 mill deal and you know he wants Weber type money getting as big of a return as pens fans think he is going to get, Letang is not Malkin.

          • I didn’t know $7.5 million was over $8 million. I guess math has been broken. The asking price for Letang is 2 roster players and a 1st. So either Petry, Paajarvi and the #7 pick or Kulemin, Gardiner and the 21st pick. Won’t pay that? Fine, we’ll just use Letang for this year and trade his rights for something small. Or re-sign him.

          • 7.5 might aswell be 9 he isn’t worth that kind of money Shero knows it and so will most other Gms the market wont be huge for Letang, could I see him being dealt most definitely, I just don’t think you are getting a top 10 pick plus 2 player for him from someone team that is going to have their own cap issues sooner then you think with trying to sign the past decade of early first round picks like the oilers or for a team like the Leafs to give up a younger more affordable version of the exact same player, again if we make that move and Gardner continues to develop at the pace he is now I could see him being in a Norris conversation too, if he was playing beside Orpick Passing to Sid and Geno and the gang so what does that trade accomplish but eat up cap space and send away assets that could be used to adress another need, we have puck moving defenceman why do we want an overpriced one? Because he said he would like to play here maybe?!? If when Letang goes it will be to a team like Detroit maybe SJ to replace the exact same type of player who has retired or is aging it won’t be to a young team in exchange for a possible younger cheaper version of himself this makes much more sense.

        • Still think it would be tight for them especially with Yak an RFA the following year 15/16 but good post anyways. Food for thought.

          One thing to consider is the Oil have inked Hall and Eb’s to $6M (highest paid guys) so I doubt they want to go out and raise that mental team cap to $7.5M and cause themselves future grief with other contracts. I think more teams are taking the approach the Wings took with Lidstrom, ie no one on the team makes more while he is here. I can see the Oil doing it with Hall’s contract and the Leafs doing it with Kessel or eventually Lupul if Kessel gets moved provided they can get rid of Grabo. Sets a good precedent and gets any games out of the way an agent tried to play almost immediately.

          • I love Lupul and all but if he is the highest paid guy on the team we are in serious trouble lol

      • I agree BeerGoggles. The Oil would be in a slick mess with this signing in the near future.

    • Jose: not true, Leafs have some nice players and prospects they can move for Letang. Morgan Rielly, Gunnarsson, Franson plus they still have their 1st.

      So yes, Leafs have what it takes to trade for Letang.

      • They can move, not that they would move. The deal would probably be Kulemin, Gardiner and a 1st, but would the Leafs do that? Shero wouldn’t ask for any less.

    • Both Toronto and Edmonton could make the deal. They both have the assest and could make the cap space. But it would really hinder both teams from become contenders. Toronto more so because they don’t have the youth locked up long term like Edmonton does.
      I’m having a hard time thinking of a team that will want to pay Letang 8m, but some GM will.

    • what do you mean by that just the coach of marlies 4 teams wanted him check out your hockey before you blab

  5. Also:

    Josh Rimer ‏@JoshRimerHockey 12h
    IF & I mean IF Toronto does get Letang, Leafs would have 2 give up at least Jake Gardiner & probably Kulemin (who’s good buddies w/ Malkin)

    He’s not going to be had for cheap, if he’s even traded to the Leafs.

  6. if Letang wants to go to TML? who would they give up? i dont see anyone Pens want! i see him going to the West!

    • The Sharks probably could put together a package I agree the west would be a smart place to deal him

  7. Neither Tanger nor Kessel are worth upwards $7,5m

    • Kessel maybe not worth 7.5 mill but if he puts up another 30 goal year this year that’s the least your going to get him for

  8. After 2nd agreement dispute between player association and owners do not expect home town discount from most players.

  9. Everybody assuming the Leafs want him is rather amusing…

    • I’m sure Letang’s Toronto comments tweaked Nonis’s ear UNTIL he found out he turned down $7M for 8 years. LOL

      Thanks but no thanks…

      • I honestly could see Rossi just mentioning toronto to boost ratings… Think of how much publicity he’s getting for mention leafs instead of a team like Columbus. Good way to draw up business. Letang lacks a no move clause so I can see the bidding get a little to high for nonis. He has been patient with the few moves he’s made and hasn’t made (luongo). The salary is rediculous specially when you already may have a similar player at a cheaper rate in Gardiner and Reilly. Doesn’t make sense to me.

        • Good point on the publicity comment

  10. God can some GM get something happening today. This is already boring… Guess we have to wait until Sunday.

    • Boring??? are you kidding me? Think of it as foreplay…Plus I’m sure Lyle and the sponsors are loving all these hits…let’s keep it movin

      • Amen to that! The more hits, the more ad clicks, the more I can stay in business and not be faced with turning this into a pay site.

        • Thank goodness for Leafs fans, eh, Lyle? Doesn’t it make you feel kind of dirty being a Habs fan and relying chiefly on Leafs fans for the extra cash? 😀

      • I didn’t mean our commenting is boring I mean nothing much happening. Not even any good buyouts today.

  11. Spector, I read your comments regarding Letang, and moreso Kessel present value, or NHL pricetag with genuine incredulity. It is people like you who validate the ridiculously large sums of money these players earn. Did we learn nothing from the recent lockout? Have we quickly forgotten that owners cannot control themselves, like sharks in a feeding frenzy when there is fresh meat on the market at free agent trade time. Was that not part of the reason for the lockout, to bring attention to everyone in hockey that this continued uncontrolled overspending for players must cease? Why do we have buyouts in the NHL today? Because of impecunious decisions made by NHL managers who spend freely in the moment believing the media and the fans are supporting their decision making. Spector, stop contributing to their impairement by suggesting players such as the ilk of a Phil Kessel is ‘worth’ 7 million dollars per season. You should be ashamed of yourself to write something as idiotic as that.

    • LOL! Yes, I’m sure all the NHL GMs and team owners follow this site with bated breath, eagerly awaiting my speculation of a player’s worth. Thanks, “Mac”, for the biggest laugh I’ve had today.

      • LOL You never know. LOL

      • Lol Lyle. Nice

  12. Just to tie another player to toronto, what about bolland? He’s a perfect 3rd line centre that the leafs need. Chicago is in need of a second line centre and leafs would love to get rid of grabo. Not sure what kind of salary Chicago would either have to dump with bolland or toronto keep off grabos contract.

    • So is Gordon and he won’t cost you players…

      • Yes but it be the getting rid of grabo that would entice me to make this trade. As long as it isn’t a lot of money toronto retains.

  13. It always makes me laugh how every single rumor/possible move of almost every player is always “because he wants to go to Toronto orNew York” ,and guess where those rumors come from? That is the definition of “we know nothing but we need to say something/act like we do” – does anyone outside of Toronto think Lecavalier is actually PLANNING on going there ? Of course not, he will want to play for a contender like Chicago.

    If he can’t get what he wants on a contender, maybe then Toronto is his plan D or E.

    Extra marks for “Montreal fishbowl” comment – like Toronto isn’t just as insane a place to play hockey lol.

    • You forgot Philly and a few other cities that are tied to every big rumour

  14. Letang is asking for Brian Campbell type contract , ask Dale Tallon if he would do that move again.
    While Letang is good he is not a complete enough damn

    to fetch the kind of coin he is looking . Unless he goes to a team with a high powered offence he won’t put up the same numbers

    • It’s not the point. The point is supply and deman.

      • supply and demand has nothing to do with it it’s all about greed .

  15. If your a UFA why would you want to sign with the Rangers? It seems like UFAs don’t pan out there an your tossed aside for the next expensive project . Sure you make the money but you leave with the stigma of being washed up.

    • To satisfy the illusions that come with playing for an original six team in Madison Square Garden. Given the choice, I’d be loyal to the team that drafted me and not Parise out and ditch and slap that team in the face by leaving for free.

      • If you were an NHLer, you would have a completely different approach.

  16. Remember guys, Lecavalier does have declining production, with the exception of this past season. I know you cant really translate such a small amount of games in to an 82 game season, but if you did, he would have gotten 67 points. Which is pretty darn good. If he simply stays healthy (he wasn’t always injury prone) he would definitely be worth a 4.5-5 million deal. I would love to see him in Edmonton if we cant get Gagner under contract, but EDM isnt really a great destination for free agents sadly

  17. Also, if a team wants a player similar but cheaper to Dave Bolland, they might wanna look at Phoenix’s Boyd Gordon. He’s not quite as offensive as Bolland, but he too is an excellent penalty killer and defensive forward

  18. Detroit would be an interesting place for Lecavalier to play…

  19. Geez, buyer beware on Lecavalier. Teams will end up paying 150 bucks for a hundred dollar bill.

    • Geez, buyer beware on Lecavalier. Teams will end up paying 150 bucks for a hundred dollar bill.

      I agree, I believe he is worth 5mil today max and is a second liner. But someone will pay him 7mil like the Leafs or similar.

      • I’ll be surprised as he’ll if he signs anywhere north of Nashville, and no the Leafs won’t give him 7 mill guaranteed. I’ll say it again look at Nonis track record when Brian Burke isn’t around he is a good cap GM.

  20. Take Richards off the list he is staying

  21. ok so to the lecavier believers montreal would be the last place i go its been a long time since they have had such a prominate french player play for them he would ride through the town on a donkey and people would think he was the second coming of christ until his first slump then they would crucify him like he was christ too so for a player who hasnt played in that type of atmosphere in along time could be devestating god forbid pk regresses a little bit montreal will be on him like white on rice good thing karlsson was injured because we all know that norris was his just like we all know who the true scoring champ was this year sid the not a kid anymore guy and onanother note how does a guy like letang justify 7.5 whne he dosent have a norris ?

  22. Lol at Macs comment to Lyle, I come to this site because I find Lyle to be one of the most resonable writers out there, Kessel will get 7 million even if he doesn’t deserve it… Thats just a fact. No ones driving up the price here, its just what he’ll get. And honestly he has proven to be a steady point producer and in reality even if he’s worth more like 6 or 6.5 thats just how the market works. Guys generaly get 10% more than their worth, otherwise you would hit free agency and have all teams interested deadlocked at “what your worth” and not what their willing to pay. You should be ashamed of yourself sir, if you don’t like whats being writen… Dont read it!

  23. I would say Letang turning down $56 million as a sign he wants out of Pitts.

  24. Letang, Fleury to Toronto for Reimer, Gardiner and a first rounder

  25. “It’s the NHL. “It’s a game and this is what happens.” said Bolland.

    Is it really a game anymore in this day and age. I see greedy corporate suits and selfish hockey players pushing each others buttons till one side caves.

    The real hockey player was back 30 yrs ago and before that when money wasn’t the driving force, unlike todays.

    • With all due respect,Mark, money was a driving force 30 years ago. And forty years ago. And fifty years ago. And sixty years ago. If you get a moment, I recommend you find and read the book “Net Worth” by David Cruise, and “Game Misconduct” by Russ Conway.

  26. “Does anyone outside of Toronto think Lecavalier is actually PLANNING on going there ?

    I’m not a Leafs fan but, sure, if the Leafs are willing to over pay, why not. He already has a cup.

    • He will not play anywhere in Canada I’m sure he is going to play somewhere relatively close to Florida. Sign maybe a 1year deal in Florida Nashville or Carolina for cheap and then go back and finish in Tampa makes alot more sense to me

  27. I think that in reality, Shero has to move Letang. In my opinion, the wise move would be to do it before or during the draft. Tanger wants more than he’s worth, and I’d much rather be able to sign Dupuis and/or Cooke and re-up our best D-man, Brooks Orpik (argued only because he’s what we *need on the blueline in Pitt, though Letang’s stats and PP play are great).

    We need another lockdown D-man, and I think its time to see what Despres or someone else can do quaterbacking the PP. Cut ties with Letang now, while you can capitalize on his Norris finalist season and full year of services.