Latest on the Bruins, Lightning and Penguins – April 30, 2012.

A call for Bruins management not to break up their core, potential goalie options for the Lightning, and the Penguins likely intentions for their top three centers.

BOSTON HERALD: Ron Borges calls on Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to follow the example of the NFL’s New England Patriots and keep his core intact.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty recently reported a rejuvenated Brian Rolston wouldn’t mind returning with the Bruins next season. Rolston is eligible for UFA status this summer, and many believe he could retire if he’s unsigned.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chiarelli is one of the more patient GMs in the league, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he returns next season with his core intact. As for Rolston, while it’s possible Chiarelli could see him in a leadership role similar to that of Mark Recchi, I think the Bruins GM will be looking for a younger forward this summer.

Luongo or Thomas to Tampa Bay?

TAMPA BAY TIMES/TBO.COM: considered the available goaltending options for the Tampa Bay Lightning, including Roberto Luongo, Tim Thomas, Tomas Vokoun, Jonathan Bernier, Anders Lindback, and Josh Harding.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, it’s possible the Lightning could acquire Luongo, but as I’ve noted before, even if ownership is willing to spend up to the cap ceiling, adding Luongo would tie up over $30 million in just five players, so they’ll have to dump one of their high-salaried players. Yes, I know, everyone believes Ryan Malone is the obvious choice, but from all accounts, GM Steve Yzerman and head coach Guy Boucher like what Malone brings to the team. Thomas would be a good one-year option, provided the Bruins are willing to part with him, but the 38-year-old isn’t a long-term solution. Vokoun would be a more affordable option, but his performance in Washington suggests he’s on the downside of his career. Bernier and Lindback have promise, but have yet to prove themselves as NHL starters. Harding, of course, has that long injury history, so buyer beware. It’s going to be interesting to see what move Yzerman makes to address this situation.

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Rob Rossi believes the Penguins have little choice but to stick with their model of paying for premium talent (Crosby, Malkin and Staal) and hope they carry the club to the playoffs.  Acknowledging the speculation around the league suggesting the Penguins might be forced to move one of their “big three” centers (Staal considered the most likely to be dealt), Rossi believes a move away from that format “probably isn’t in the offing because of the limited impact made by players picked in Shero’s first three drafts.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The problem, however, is Crosby, Malkin and Staal will all be due raises over their current annual salaries over the next two years. Currently, the Penguins have $21.4 million invested in the trio each season, as Crosby and Malkin each earn $8.7 million per season, and Staal makes $4 million per. Even if Crosby and Malkin were to accept a little less than market value, both could seek $10 million per season, while Staal could easily make over $6 million on the open market next summer.  Though I believe the Penguins will do everything they can to keep this trio (hell, why wouldn’t they?), unless they can shed some salary elsewhere, it could prove difficult to retain their big three long-term.  If there’s an amnesty buyout period in the next CBA, don’t be surprised if they use it to dump the remainder of defenseman Paul Martin’s $5 million per season contract.


  1. I don’t really see a downside to Vokoun. A 2.51 gaa and a .917% would have put us well into playoff contention. Vokoun would be a good addition for a couple seasons.

    • I agree. His numbers are well within his normal stats. I think he had already written off a dysfunctional club by the time they had turned things around and vice versa. He’ll be 36 next season and real reason to think that he couldn’t be had for 2-3 mill for 2 years. Not sure I’d strap more time than that just due to the cap rules on age 35+ contracts.

      • No real reason that is…

  2. The “three-headed-monster” will not work long term due to $ and ice-time. Crosby won’t be going anywhere and Staal gives the Pens something that no other player on the team can. That makes Malkin the odd man out, not Staal. A package of Malkin and Orpik would garnish some nice return and set the team up with a few quality support players for Crosby and Staal.

  3. @ Bolts nation

    I dont mean to disagree to just disagree so please dont take this as such !!!

    The Bolts have arguably one of the best players in the worldin Steven Stamkos ( who is in his prime ) you can not go down the road of just having a goalie like Vokun who has done nothing in his career to warrant him being a guy who will put the Bolts over the top.

    Washington has twice the talent and is a much deeper team defensively than the Bolts and they struggled all year along with Vokun who was inconsistant.

    The Bolts have to go ALL IN to aquire the right goalie to play within the PRIME of Steven Stamkos years to winn multiple times not just 1 time…Yzerman is not built like that and comes from an organization who literally wrote the text book on those decsions!

    Yzerman will take a goalie who can help being a top 5 team in the league every year for the next 5 years as to make sure he compliments the chances you have to win with Steven Stamkos in his best years …nothing more nothing less….very short window in a players life to capitalize on this kind of talent …you do not get a 1B goalie to compliment an unproven starter or back up for that matter!!!

    Luongo is Yzerman best bet as he does not have the depth or talent to offer or give away for a leading #1 goalie and the only way he can do this is by taking on Luongos contract which will not cost him very much to acquire as opposed to other talent.

    Luongo is Tampas best option by far !!!
    it wont cost them any talent they can not afford to give up to stay competitive long term!

    • I would love to have Luongo, but that much cap tied into a few guys just doesn’t work. Purcell is due a raise after next season and if he keeps his pace up that will be on hell of a raise. Malone is loved by Fans, management and coaching plus a NTC makes him impossible to mOve.

  4. If Crosby doesnt have a extension in July then I think he may test the market. He’s accomplished everything he could with pittsburgh and he may want to do whatever he wants. Maybe that’s stay in Pitts, maybe that’s play for other teams. He has a no trade clause for the next season so to me that says “if I’m not signing your not just trading me anywhere.”. It will be a HUGE topic the longer he goes unsigned. Of course, my comment is moot if he signs a extension July 1, but if he doesn’t it will be fun hockey talk.

    • Crosby has to prove he’s healthy first, otherwise the Pens may gladly move on.

  5. @ SmeilmaN

    Ray Shero has gone record stating he wants Crosby to retire a Penguin……and that money is a non factor!!

    I wrote a post last week explaing that by not signing Crosby ….the Penguins will loss hundreds of Millions of dollrs in advertising TV rights …Season tickets ..and City spin off and economic impact by not signing him.

    Its almost ludicrus to suggest otherwise on at least 20 different levels ….they would loose tens of millions in Jersey sales alone !!!!!!!!

  6. Just for the Record Sydney Crosby is one the most marketable sports figures in this era or generation….he is a printing press for hundreds of millions of dollars for Penguins partnerships ….it just doesnt make sense …this is a business 1st and Crosby is the face of Hockey world wide not just North America …the dollar amount his celebrity brings in is unreal and uncomprehendable …to move him anywhere at anytime!!!

  7. Ya let’s just stop with the Crosby talk, he’s not going anywhere period. And I doubt Crosby and Malkin ask for 10 million a season, they have a good thing going there. If it comes down to Staal being unhappy with his role, why doesn’t Balysma toy with the idea of permanently putting Malkin on Crosby’s wing and moving Staal up to second line center? Seems a better option then letting Staal go. I’m sure they can get a package for Jordan that will address their other needs, but if Shero thinks he can fill them through other means (from the farm, or trading guys like Kunitz) then maybe trading one of the big three isn’t the only option.

    As far as TB goes, I personally see them trading for a young goalie like Bernier. TB is still a small market team so I don’t see them going after Luongo. And I don’t see Chia parting with Thomas. Vokoun is a good option, but my gut tells me Stevie Y would prefer to go younger…just my opinion.

  8. I agree that Crosby is not going anywhere (at least he will be resigned to one more deal).

    I agree that the Bolts need to get the best goalie they can get- and make a run for it in the next 2-3 years while Lecavalier and St. Louis are still prime contributors.

    I don’t think that the Pens will trade Staal. He will likely get a raise over the $4M he makes now, but I’m not sure that Malkin and Crosby will really want/need more than the $8.7M they are making now. It already puts them in the upper tier of salary earners- and not on those rediculous front loaded contracts. i would be in their best interest to all continue to play together in Pittsburgh.
    Depth down the middle cannot be replaced.

  9. While Yzerman & Boucher might like what Malone brings, you have to give up something to get something. Safe to say TB needs a goalie – shedding Malone’s contract to get a quality #1 (whoever that might be) is something I think TB management can live with.

    (Even Schneider, if he *had* been on the block, will likely be paid $3-3.5M/yr, I’m guessing. TB will be taking on some salary for a goalie no matter who they get – that’s if they want someone to make them contenders and not just a perennial 8th seed)

  10. @ paddy

    Finaly someone who makes sense!!

    Good post!

    Malone would have to Ok the deal NC clause!
    That would be the most sensible transaction!
    I still think you will see a PKG deal with Luongo …not just Luongo on his own ..this way it involves more money and multi players to make it all work …plus Vancouver needs new blood injected to its core!

    Plus Schnieder will command at least $4.0 million to start in a negoatiation!So paddy your bang on the money !!
    Hes the most sought after goalie in the NHL he holds all the cards!

  11. @ Smielman

    Crosby is one of the most dedicated and respected people in Hockey …he will not walk on Mario lemieux or treat that organization or its fans with any disrespect and with Shero allready stating money is a non factor and he wants Syd to retire a Penguin as well as make hundreds of Millions of dollars …I would say the only thing that would create problems here would be:

    December 22 2012…LMAO

  12. With all this talk of the Penguins trio of centers, it’s clear there is no rush for them to do anything major at this time. Although someday down the road if it becomes evident that one of them should move on. I believe Malkin to be the odd man out. Which is a little hard to imagine with the ammount of talent he possesses. Though with the return they could recieve for him and the prospect of having Crosby and Staal as your top two centers, i feel that someday it wouldn’t be out of the question.

  13. I think Staal would prefer to be the go to guy on another team. I’d say let him have that opportunity.

  14. Trade Crosby.

  15. Coming off a $5mil contract, Rolston has a choice to make. Take a $1mil contract, like Recchi did or retire.

  16. @ Bick Wiggles worth

    You cant be serious …have you any idea of the economic impact of Crosby staying in Pittsburgh…seriously!
    Penguins have very big business people as partners as well as make hundreds of millions on Crosby being a Penguin ….they make more money on Crosby with a concussion or retired then they would if the traded him !!!!!

    as a business person how do you explain to your partners that you just lost tens of millions of dollars today because we choose not to resign Sydney crosby becuase we think he cant play anymore !!!!

    Come on !!!!!
    This is nonsense!!!

  17. I don’t think Vokoun had a bad year at all; 2.51GAA and .917 SV% is pretty tight for a guy that played on a team whose top 8 defensemen were a combined -205 in Giveaway/Takeaway differential. Not one defenseman on the team was a + in that category, with Carlson leading the way at -61, Wideman -38, Alzner -30, Orlov -25, Shultz -23, Hamrlik -17 and Mike Green at -7.

  18. Sorry, rounding out the 8 dmen was Erskine at -4.

  19. Bolts

    They are going both young and old. I believe we could see them lock Thomas Vokoun up to a 2-3 year deal at $2-3 per season and also trade for Lindback out of Nashville. Vokoun acts as a perfect mentor to Lindback and they go with the 1A 1B system that works well in St. Loius! I also say Lindback as I believe he will be easier to get and if the Preds lose this current series will be looking to make some change.


    I also believe that Malkin would be the more odd man out and the smarter move for the team. He could fetch you a draft pick, physical winger, and top d-man in a deal easily to compliment the team. But on the other side I don’t believe Crosby will ask for more money, he is capping at his Jersey Number and they will never may Malkin more than Crosby. Staal will get a raise, but not as drastic as anyone thinks maybe $1-$2 million at max!


    I do honestly believe that Thomas is gone. I think Rask wants it and Thomas is too good to play second fiddle. I think Chia sees a chance to clear some space and get some assets. This is a great chance to keep the core intact and add to it. I would look to teams who think they just need that mentor goalie to get the next guy ready for the big leagues. I could honestly see Florida picking Thomas up, flipping Theodore + something else to Boston. Thomas-Markstrom Rask-Theodore both teams have what they need in a goaltending duo then.

    Also believe Jets, Wings, Hawks, Devils, Leafs, and Caps could possibly bite on Thomas!

  20. @ BoltsNation – I was going to post the same thing. For all the slagging that Vokoun gets for being inconsistent. He put up some fairly decent numbers on a Capitals team that abandons defensive responsibility on a regular basis. Adding Vokoun would be a good move for the Lightning and would buy them a bit more time to evaluate Dustin Tokarski.

  21. Theres no chance of Thomas going to the Jets. A) the Jets appear set in goal as they finally see Pavlevec as their guy (and rightly so). B) even if they were looking for help between the Pipes why would a Tea Party enthusiast come play in the Great White North? Well I guess he’d never have to visit the Obama White House… Haha.

    As far as Bobby Lu, I think Tampa makes sense but ownership has been adamant about not taking on a intract like that. It pains me to see it but Toronto is lookin likethe eat option money wise, but not the est option hockey wise. He’s not the guy for the leafs and they’re going to end up saddled with a bad contract for over a decade… Wrong decision for all involved.

  22. Vokoun has typically been a top 5-10 NHL goalie and this year was no exception. After bait of a slow start he played great, even when his team didn’t.

    T-Vo would be a huge addition to a team like Tampa or Toronto.

  23. @JJB What?? Malkin the odd man out??? That’s just crazy talk. If you look at the stats of all three there is no “odd man out” option. It boils down to which huge asset can you let go and not have come back and bite you on the a$$ the most. That has to be Staal. Yes he’s a big third line center but he has never been required to “run the show” so to speak. The other two have already proven themselves. Crosby did it for a few years and Malkin took over when Crosby got concussed.

    If I was management I would hate to get rid of any of them, regardless of what assets are coming back.

  24. For any Toronto fans that are dieing to get Staal from Pitz I still say Getlaf is the better choice if you are going to break the bank. Even though Staal plays third fiddle in Pitz he still gets 20 min per game and has proven himself to be a 20-25 goal, 50pt man with those minutes. He will get about 22 to 23min in Toronto so I doubt his totals increase that much when comparing him to Getlaf. Getz plays about 21 min per game and could easily get you 30 goals and 70pts in a season. Now is the time to make a pitch for Getzlaf with him scheduled to be a UFA next summer. After the year he had I would have to think this summer would be the best chance (if any) to land him if the Ducks are looking for a change. Getlaf’s value is way down and so is Schenn’s so it might be a good starting point along with this years first rounder and a few other parts.

  25. Everyone knows anything that will look like Luongo going to Tampa Bay, will bring back the Lecavalier rumours again. As some salary will have to go the other way.

  26. Lots of talk about how Crosby can’t possibly be traded, and how Malkin or Staal has to go. But I would bet that Shero holds off on dealing one of the latter two for as long as he can for a simple reason- Crosby is one big hit away from being out of the game permanently. Better to lose the Martin contract however possible, shore up the defense via free agency/more moderate trades, and draft better.

  27. One of Malkin’s most productive early years was on a line with Ryan Malone and Jordan Staal – yes, three centers. There is no reason Shero can’t use Staal on one of the top two lines and keep him a center for penalty killing. Top 6 should be Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Neal, Kunitz + one more. As for cap – Martin, Michalek, TK = $11 million per year.

  28. I think that Staal should be the Pens’ Captain. I would trade Crosby now while he can still play – maybe get tougher on D, or a winger for Malkin.

  29. I think Thomas to TB makes a lot of sense. Thomas only makes $3m in salary next year, and he and St.Louis are BFF’s from their UVM days so he’d probably fit in well and might even be willing to re-sign. That could buy Yzerman some time to develop a goalie to go with the young core.

    Malone is an obvious starting point. Chiarelli wants to add a forward and the salaries wash, but if the B’s are going to have the possibility of facing Thomas in the playoffs, they’re going to want more than Malone.