Latest on NHL Free Agent Interview Candidates – June 26, 2014

The latest on Dan Boyle, Paul Stastny, Matt Niskanen, Brad Richards, Dave Bolland, Martin Brodeur, and more. 

Plenty of interest in Dan Boyle.

Plenty of interest in Dan Boyle.

NBC SPORTS/TAMPA BAY TIMES/NEW YORK POST: James O’Brien reports at least eight teams are interested in ageing defenseman Dan Boyle, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers. Boyle is believed seeking a two-year contract. Joe Smith reports Boyle’s agent said his client would be interested if the Lightning express interest, though they haven’t yet done so. Boyle played for the Bolts from 2002 to 2008. Larry Brooks speculates Boyle would replace Anton Stralman if he departs via free agency, but believes the Blueshirts prefer to offer him a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boyle could make a good short-term option for clubs seeking experienced depth on their defense. 

DENVER POST/ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Adrian Dater reports Colorado Avalanche management isn’t upset by Paul Stastny’s willingness to listen to other teams, as he’s still willing to entertain returning with the Avs. However, Dater feels if Stastny gets a massive offer between $6-$7 million annually, it would spell the end of his tenure with the club. Jeremy Rutherford reports the St. Louis Blues have reached out to Stastny’s agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche are gambling a rival club won’t offer up a monster contract to Stastny. Considering the cap is expected to rise by at least $5 million for next season and the lack of depth in this summer’s UFA market, it’s a gamble they could lose. 

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford reports Brad Richards and Matt Niskanen are among the UFA targets for the “aggressive” NY Islanders.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Isles GM Garth Snow could have quite the sell job on his hands. While the Isles have the cap space to pursue notable UFAs, Snow must convince them the Islanders are a club worth joining. Having John Tavares and Kyle Okposo on the roster helps, but the Isles have yet to demonstrate they’re finally poised for their long-awaited breakthrough as a playoff contender.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Red Wings will have face-to-face meetings with Matt Niskanen and Dan Boyle. They also officially signed goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year, $1.85 million contract, six days after he agreed to the deal.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher contacted the agents for defensemen Matt Niskanen and Willie Mitchell, goal scorer Thomas Vanek and center Paul Stastny.

TORONTO SUN: Rob Longley reports at least six teams have contacted Maple Leafs center Dave Bolland. It’s believed his agent seeks a seven-year deal close to $5 million annually, while the Leafs prefer five years at $4.2 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Will anyone be crazy enough to ink Bolland to seven years at $5 million per season? We’ll find out in about a week’s time. 

NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Devils defenseman Mark Fayne will speak with the Edmonton Oilers. Goalie Martin Brodeur was spotted recently in Toronto speaking with the Maple Leafs owner, but he was there for a golf tournament staged by friend and former Devils teammate David Clarkson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fayne could become one of the steals of this year’s NHL free agency period. As for Brodeur, his presence in Toronto set off speculation about the Leafs signing him as a backup for Jonathan Bernier. Not sure he’d be keen to accept that role if it was offered to him. 


  1. Surely no one is crazy enough to do the 7 year at 5 +mill but Im hoping someone is crazy enought to do 5 years at 5 mill, just get Bolland out of here already.

    • Someone will overpay for way too long – and it better not be the Leafs. I personally don’t even like $4.2MM x 5 considering nobody really knows what kind of shape his ankle is in.

    • Ha! I can think of one……Heres a quote from Bolland.

      For sure the ball is in our court,” Bolland said.
      “When you go (unrestricted free agency) that’s when you can test the market and you can pick whatever team you want to go to.
      You can do whatever you want. It’s up to you.

      At the end of all the searching for top dollar, he says he still wants to be a Leaf.

    • why are teams after bolland raymond and komorav tor made the playoffs once in 9 yrs go find your own players

      • What does this mean? They were only there a year what does the tesm not willing to pay them have to do with the past 10 years?

  2. Wings please get Boyle let Niskanen go to someone else for 6 years at 6 million a year. Then draft Alex Tuch and Sign Jussi Jokinen and my off season is complete.

    • Tuch is a beast like Mantha, would be cool to see those guys on the Wings in a few years.

      • yup a couple of 6’4 guys with a scoring touch. I know Mantha is more of a scorer then someone who uses his body, but Tuch is a scorer who uses his body more, Mantha on top 3 and Tuch on top 6 would be incredible in a few years. really hope the boys take him if he’s available at that time

        • The Wings are masters at finding elite talent, I have no doubt they will draft smart and get the right players for the future. Anyone that’s played for the Wings has said that they are a world class organization.

          • I would much rather see Niskanen at 6 yrs / $6 mill over Boyle at 2 yrs / $5 mill, which is about what it’ll cost for either. Shoring up the defence for a long time doesn’t seem like such a terrible idea.

            I could definitely see their defence improving with a Niskanen signing (top 4 of Kronwall / Niskanen / Eriksson / DeKeyser) much more than using Boyle as a stop-gap hoping someone can jump into the top 4 within 2 years. Then we could use Tartar or Nyquist with Andersson and Smith or one of our defensive prospects to go after a top line winger. I think that group should be able to get a decent one, with Tatar/Nyquist ready to jump into 2nd line duty right away and Andersson shoring up somone’s 3rd or 4th line, then adding either a NHL caliber defenseman in Smith or a prospect.

  3. Fletcher has been saying that the Wild probably won’t make any blockbuster deals this offseason…….all this is speculation and players I’d like to see on the Wild
    He should offer Stastny 6.5M for 5 years
    Vanek a 1-3 year deal at 7M per
    Niskanen a 5 year deal at 5M per
    Hiller a 3 year deal at 4M per

    Ok, take your best shots!

    • no shots if they can fit all that under their cap and actually sign all those players, the Wild will be a contender next year.

      I don’t think they get Hiller/Stasny though. The other 2 are possibilities.

    • So now according to CapGeek your team has:
      5 LW / 5 C / 1 RW
      7 D
      3 G
      21 players
      $225,000 space

      Isn’t Backstrom still injured? So no buyout there, and after last season I don’t see a trade coming. I doubt Harding is bought out either, his health concerns likely nix that. Regardless, the roster looks 3 forwards short and 1 goalie heavy with no space to move AND you’re looking at the PITT model – top heavy 2 lines and AHL players on lines 3 & 4.

      • Unless I’m not seeing it right, according to CapGeek the Wild have $22,724,744 in Cap space: Where do you get $225,000????
        Backstrom is not injured and they are trying to move him
        Harding will not be bought out but his health is certainly a concern

        • The Wild have $22m in cap space and will likely try to get Stastny or Vanek plus Niksenan and Scott Thornton. Doubt they go for a goalie unless Harding retires or they trade Backstrom.

      • I’m not quite sure where you get the 3/4th lines being stocked with AHL players? Did you watch Haula/Niederreiter and Cooke in the playoffs. I expect next season Cooke will be on their 4th line which means their likely to have a pretty darn good team!

        • Not sure where he got any of his information, AHL line had me confused, he must be a backetball or sychronized swimming fan. lol
          No Thornton but hopefully Stastny and Vanek and Niskanen!

          • Really? Id think goalie before Niskanen. After seeing what Edmonton paid for a dman yesterday, Id stay away from the bidfing on that guy.

          • No particular order Schticky, just all of them sign!

  4. If you look at Bollands numbers he was on pace to beat Kadri. However what he is asking for is a bit much. I would just as soon see them try to trade for for Kesler. Not sure what or who they would have to give up,but they are running out of pieces to trade with and it since it seems unlikely they are going to resign most of their RFA / UFAs.

    Lyle, any way you see Kesler coming to TO? Does Nonis drafting him carry much weight?

    • Kesler doesn’t want to play in Canada. Even if they convinced him to accept a trade here, do us Leafs fans really want a player on the team that legitimately does not want to be here?

  5. If the Rangers pursue Boyle, it will mean that Stralman is moving on. With Richards gone, it makes a little sense that they would pursue Boyle for the point on the PP. But I’m not sure that he is more than a 1 or 2 year answer. If Stralman can be retained for $4.5 (3-4 years) or under they should stick with him. If he is looking for a big payday, let him walk and let another team live with the mistake. I like Stralman, but without a strong pairing d-man on his other side, I’m not sure he is a solid 2nd pairing guy.

  6. Yes, Fayne could become a **** steal because our GM doesn’t recognize his **** value and doesn’t want to buyout Salvador or Volchenkov. I hope we re-sign him, but the chances just fell through the floor now that Lou sat back and did **** all to do anything about it. He played first pairing a while this year with Andy Greene and is extremely underrated as a stay-at-home d-man, someone who’ll always contribute to the PK and a core steady group.

    And what’s worse is that in five days, I’m going to hear about some overpaid **** signing like Ryane Clowe that’ll keep us in the margins.

    Lou has to wake up and reassess the values of the players on his team. NJ is one of the most worthless franchises out there in terms of assets, and if Fayne goes for free, that gives us about four people we can possibly trade. Well if our value is so diminutive, it doesn’t matter who we trade for or who we sign for in free agency (which will further diminish our value because of a bad contract), because we won’t be able to compete regardless. And that might mean Schneider gets ****ed off and bolts next season while we hear more **** excuses from Lou that amounts to senility.

    As you can see, my patience is running extremely short here… watching NJ this year was a completely horrible and frustrating experience. There’s nothing worse in the NHL than a franchise that has no tradeable assets and is living in the dreaded 17-24 zone.

  7. Let’s just put it this way: Fayne would be a fine first pairing d-man for Karlsson, Phaneuf, etc. He’ll earn around (if not north of) 4.5M for 5 years and could have probably gone to us for 4M/y for 3 years if Lou had made the move.

    • Yep, Ive been saying this for months, he is the best D available not Niskanen. Im kinda ticked that the Leafs are not one of the teams reportedly talking with his agent, exactly what they need.

      • I heard that the Leafs were one of the teams interested in Fayne last week. I figure that he will be one of the best bang for your buck guys in this UFA class