Latest on the Leafs, Rangers, Lightning and Wild – May 10, 2014

With Randy Carlyle returning as coach, could the Leafs trade Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner? Could the Rangers trade Rick Nash this summer? Are the Lightning considering changes to their backup goaltending? Could the Wild re-sign Dany Heatley?

Could the Rangers shop Rick Nash this summer?

Could the Rangers shop Rick Nash this summer?

NEW YORK POST: Noting Rick Nash’s lengthy playoff scoring drought and his recent serenading by New York boobirds, Larry Brooks recently wondered if Nash would be amenable to waiving his no-trade clause this summer. Given the decline in Nash’s play, Brooks doubts there would be as much of a bidding war for the winger’s services  this time as there was two years ago. They could use their remaining compliance buyout on Nash, but Brooks points out that would mean the Rangers would be stuck with Brad Richards’ contract through 2019-20, as well as the salary cap recapture penalties if he retires before then.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nash has four years remaining on his contract at an annual cap hit of $7.8 million, but his actual salary steadily rises with each season, reaching $8.2 million in the final year of the deal. The Rangers would be better off using their remaining compliance buyout to shed Richards salary (they can afford the payout), then agree to pick up a part of Nash’s contract (provided he agrees to waive his NTC)  in hopes of enticing a rival team in need of a big scoring winger. 

THE SPORTING NEWS: With the Toronto Maple Leafs confirming the return of head coach Randy Carlyle, Sean Gentille cites a tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger claiming the Leafs have had trade discussions with a number of teams involving Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner and even pending UFA’s Nikolai Kulemin and Dave Bolland.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Big changes could be coming to the Leafs lineup, but it won’t involve shedding expensive players like Dion Phaneuf. The Leafs could seek players who can play Carlyle’s system. Or, if you’re a Carlyle apologist, his new assistants’ system. Moving the negotiating rights of Kulemin and/or Bolland for whatever they can get before July 1 isn’t a bad idea. Kadri and/or Gardiner are decent trade chips, but don’t expect them to fetch a big return. GM Dave Nonis previously said he won’t move either player without getting a good player of comparable age in return. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s willing to move off that stance this summer. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Sid Hartman reports Dany Heatley has become a vital contributor to the Wild since he was put into the roster midway through their opening-round series against Colorado. Heatley’s an unrestricted free agent and GM Chuck Fletcher said he’ll see where the veteran winger fits into their plans beyond this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Heatley is willing to accept a massive pay cut and a lesser role with the Wild, they could consider bringing him back next season. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Damian Cristodero reports the Lightning’s glut of backup goalies (Anders Lindback, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Kristers Gudlevskis) gives the Lightning some options this summer, which could include using one of them as trade bait. 


  1. Kadri a pick and prospect for Richards from LA.
    Reimer to the Jets for a third.
    Bolland Kuli Raymond = 3 bags of pucks
    Lupul with some salary held to Fla with Gardiner or by himself to the Islanders.

    • re: Richards
      With Kings owing Richards 7mil, 6 mil and 5.5mil over the next 3 years and with Richards offensive numbers going down, doubt this happens. I still don’t know what the leafs master plan is, are we looking at just a few minor changes adding a couple of Carlyle type players and are they considering a full scale remake ?

      • Just for the record this is a terrible deal I could see Nonis doing because well Richards has a cup and is a winner sand paper is tough etc etc all the other bs cliche stuff that Leaf management will spin it to seem.

        • If your dead set on Kadi, here’s a trade

          To: Ducks
          Leafs #1 pick 8th overall
          5th or 6th pick 2015

          To Leafs
          Kyle Palmieri
          Luca Sbisa
          Ottawa #1 which is 10th overall ( Leafs move down 2 picks)
          and will toss in signing rights for Hiller ( have about a month to sign him)

          Now before you go crazy, Palmieri and Sbisa are well known by CARLYLE,
          and Sbisa is his type of player, physical. Don’t discount Hiller, Carlyle loves him. Leafs would only drop 2 slots in 2014 draft. I’d put Kadri on Left Wing
          next to Getzlaf and Perry and Finn I’d send to AHL for next two years.
          With the #8 pick, I’d hope Haden Fluery is abvailable.

          • Lol I am pretty much dead set against moving Kadri, which kinda sucks because Im thinking he is most likely to go with Gardiner. Thats an ok deal you got there but again Nonis and carlyle I think go with toughness character, grit and identity type players, who needs size, skill and speed.

          • Hopefully, the Leafs see the folly in giving up on Kadri right now. They’re just not deep enough at the centre position. However, I think Gardiner is as good as gone, and apparently there are several GM’s in the league that would love to get their hands on him. Makes one wonder what everyone else sees in him that Carlyle obviously doesn’t. And can someone please tell me, what exactly is a “Carlyle type player”? It screams savy veteran to me, and that scares the be-jeebers out of me!

    • Richards for Kadri and a Prospect??? Um how about screw off, I’ll take the proven playoff performer who has won at every single level over a guy who hasn’t done a damn thing. IF and thats a big if, the Kings trade Richards it will be for a Top 2-3 D man, not a 4th line center (and YES on LA with Kopitar Carter and Stoll, Kadri would be a 4th line center)

    • Good trade ideas.

      I don’t know if the Kings would trade Richards. They are having a lot of success with him in the lineup even though his output on the stat sheet has been going down. I’d offer Kadri and either a pick or a mid level prospect. Would Nonis try for Kesler? I think he’d be the better option for Leafs IMO.

      Spot on with the Reimer trade. Not getting much more then that. Maybe a very eager team will give up a 2nd.

      UFA’s to be are well UFA’s to be. Bag of pucks is about right. Maybe add a few draft picks in next years draft?

      Lupul + salary to Florida for what though?

      Just wanted to add…

      Leafs will not get rid of Phaneuf unless they take a substantial amount of his contract back or if they take a long horrible contract in return for Phaneuf.

      • Trading Kadri to VanCity, appear to be much more realistic to me.

        A package including both Kadri and Gardiner plus either a prospect or a 2nd round pick. *(not a first) Might be sufficient to ply open the doors in Vancouver and pull out either Edler or Bieksa. If either on is willing to waive their NTC.

        I think the Duck and Kings will not be interested, but of course I could be wrong.

  2. That is crazy talk Richards is currently a 4th line center on the kings. Sure he can return to form but that’s an awful steep price to pay for “maybe”.

    • Richards is a 4th line center because LA is the deepest team at center, not because he is playing badly. Trust me when I say Richards would be the Leafs top 1-2 center man EASILY. Try watching a Kings game once in a while.

  3. Lyle, just curious as to why you don’t think a player like phanuef will get moved? If he was a ufa right now there would be a line up for his services. I really don’t think a contract like his is unmovable and especially if your just looking to move him and not concerned with the return. Which is what I’m expecting since we’ve been told there is going to be a culture change and he is the only one left to take the fall for that.

    • Because there’s no one who can log the minutes Phaneuf does, plus I don’t think the Leafs management or Carlyle fault him for the club’s collapse. His big contract could also prove tough to move unless the Leafs picked up part of it.

      • I just don’t understand how you can preach culture change and not shake up the top core players. Regardless of talent and ice time if it benefits your team addition by subtraction then do it. Otherwise they will always have these problems

        • @Aki

    • Noonis signed Phaneuf to that big contract because the brain-trust of the Leafs wanted him to be an integral part of the team moving forward. If the Leafs try to move him and his contract a few months later because they want a cultural change, the entire management team should be fired for being reactionary without a solid plan.

      Looks like the Leafs can finally get Nash, but realistically, who wants to pay $8 million for 39 points. Another Sather blunder – how does that man keep his job?

      • Kulimen Kadri Lupul Raymond Bolland Gardiner and Franson Reimer are 8 guys that I could see moving if the Leafs could. I’d almost bet that 4 or 5 of them wont be back and they are all pretty long standing lineup guys Id say the culture or the core is pretty affected if 2 of your top 6 forwards your one time starting goalie and most of the 3rd line is moved. I also wouldnt be surprised if Gunnarsson or Bozak was dealt, not all at onec or anything like that but realistically the only people I can see staying for sure Kessel JVR Phaneuf Rielly Bernier Clarkson (couldnt get rid of him if they tried) pretty sure anyone else would be up for grabs.

    • While true that Phaneuf would garner interest as a UFA, his existing contract plus the fact that a team would have to part with hard assets as well makes a deal involving Phaneuf more problematic. Most teams would have little issue with Dion if only money had to be paid to the Leafs. If Toronto would be willing to accept a sixth round pick for a team to get Phaneuf of Toronto, then a deal could be done quickly, however, it is unrealistic that it happens. That’s why I agree with Lyle that his contract is unmovable.

      • Imovable like Luongo or Horcoff?…if they held some salary he could be moved and for more than a 6th round pick lol, a mill or 1.5 mill is nothing to the Leafs. Think the Flyers may not think about a Vinny for Phaneuf swap if it was available just as an example.

      • Also, when was the last time a star player was traded only a few months after signing a long-term deal? Good luck trying to sign free agents in the future if you do that.

    • He’s a Bogosian type player. Personally I’d take Bogosian over Phaneuf. He makes $2 mill more then the players at his level on average. Unless the Leafs are willing to take at least $2 mill back on his contract a year for the term of his contract there isn’t a team out there besides maybe the Flyers that’d want to add a contract like that. Even that is questionable since Homer is out of the GM seat.

      • Phaneuf is worth more than 5 mill Jes.

  4. Lyle curious about the value of Brayden Schenn, Would a straight up trade for Jake Gardiner be equitable?

    • I think it could be.

      • Think Hextall deals Schenn a second time, on top of the last Flyer forward for a Leaf D man deal? Value wise it may be close but Im not sure I see Hextal going down that road, maybe but I think he would rather try and get rid of Vinny and Hartnel.

        • He would like to move the older unproductive players but Vinny’s contract is untradeable.

    • And I will dispute this with Lyle…lol

      While their value might be similar to each other, the Flyers do not have a need or want for another puck moving dman.

      Under contract: Coburn, Grossmann, Schenn, MacDonald,Streit, and Ghost. We also have Alt, Hagg, Morin, plus in the minors.

      We don’t need to take on a puckmover, as Mac, Streit, and Ghost are all puck movers.

      I also can’t see Hextall trading Schenn to Toronto, if at all. I can see Lecavalier being moved for a bad contract back.

      Face facts Toronto…B. Schenn is not coming there.

    • I think it’d be a pretty good deal for both teams. Fair.

  5. Heatley
    The question is no longer IF HE HAS TO TAKE A BIG PAY CUT. It’s now WHO will make him a offer
    and how small the contract will be.

    • I’m thinking he ends up in Buffalo or Florida.

      • Jes, I hope Buffalo doesn’t pick up Heatley. A Heatley/Coyle or Granlund package would have been a good move for Vanek before the Moulson deal. But I would rather the Sabres resign two of the following Ott, Moulson, Callahan, Statsny or Cammarelli to mentor our youngsters. Even a Brian Gionta or Branden Morrow, depending on their asking price, would be go mentors for our youth.

        • I have to agree with Steve. (except got the trade part)

          Heatley is not the good character type player that Buffalo needs.

          I will be upset if he appears in the Blue and Gold.

  6. Carlyle has a system?

    • Paddy I wish there was a way to give a LIKE to your post lol.

      • Haha thanks! :)

    • Lol

  7. Hey Rangers, the Habs will happily take Nash off your hands! I don’t think he’s the elite scorer he once was, but he’s a big body that should be good for 35 goals in a full season. That makes him only moderately overpriced, and certainly worth a gamble for most clubs.

    (Can’t see the Rangers trading Nash any time soon, especially if they decide to buy out Richards. Not sure they’ll do that, either, but that is a lot of offense to give up on, all at once!)

    • Thank god you aren’t the Habs GM.

    • Rags should keep Richards he’s improved under AV.

  8. Let’s start with the Phaneuf idea….
    Teams may have lined up for him as a UFA, but only at the right price. What the Leafs signed him for is not the right price. Now, for him to be traded, salary would have to be retained or the Leafs would have to take a contract back that is also an albatross.

    Kadri for Richards….
    I doubt the Kings would take on a guy like Kadri. Over the last few years, Lombardi has built a ‘culture’ that a guy like Richards fits into. The Leafs would be getting rid of him because he does not fit into the ‘culture’ they are trying to create. About the only way it happens is if the Kings are strapped for cap space and can find a taker for Richards’ cap hit.

    • 3 reasons I could see Kadri for Richards 1 Kadris offense would help, 2 he is young and Suter could mould him, his contract is good and going to be cheaper than Richards going forward, alowing the Kings to maybe sign Gaborik if he enjoys LA and lowers his demands.

      Thing with Phaneuf is the minutes he eats with the Leafs (he isnt going anywhere) If the Leafs really wanted to move him I doubt the contract is that big an issue. They could easily hold a mill or 1.5 a year of the cap hit and I could almost guarantee you someone would have interest in Phaneuf locked up for 5.5 mill which is a million less than his last contract. Any team that had maybe some thoughts of picking him up as a ufa would have no issue with paying him at a discount of the deal they would have had to pay him in the first place. Think about it at 5.5 mill its fairly reasonable not out of this world at anyrate for a top 3 type roll on a blueline particularly if the cap goes to 69-70 mill next year and around 75 mill the year following. Phaneuf is moveable.

      • I don’t think you would be able to get Richards for Kadri..

        Kadri isn’t a Sutter type player, and anyone watching the playoffs this year knows Richards has amped it up, and in the Anaheim series, he has been a force…maybe not point wise, but in other ways.

        Kadri doesn’t fit the Sutter mode..a lunchbox type. They have room to keep Gabby if they want.

        I just don’t see Kadri being a piece the Kings would want….considering they could get Cammalleri for no cost but salary.

        • Think Cami is going to want 2.9 mill?

          • I think they would rather keep Richards and sign Cammalleri for a fair deal. I also think Cammalleri would cost more than Kadri, but he is a more proven commodity than Kadri, and puts up more points and has for a lot longer than Kadri.

            What Richards brings to LA isn’t just measured by points, and his worth is higher than his production.

            I also think that if Richards were available, there would be more teams in the mix, and something valued higher than Kadri.

          • Gaborik and Cami = more than 9 mill next years projected space.the next 2 years, Tifolli Williams Nolan King Pearson Stoll (some other pretty important pieces) will need contracts with not much space I understand the Kings are deep with centers which goes back to why pay a 3rd or 4th line center a 5.5 cap hit trading for a guy like Kadri (whos 20 goals almost doubles Richards and is cheer and younger) and a pick and a prospect gives themsome room and allows them to keep building. Again not saying I like the deal just saying its something that I could see happening. At some point LA is going to have totrim down some salary 5.5 mill for 11 goals is steep Richards aint getting any younger.

      • Schticky just stop, you clearly know NOTHING about LA. They have plenty of cap space to re-sign Gaborik without trading Richards for the Leafs garbage.

        • Clearly you are right King every team would want a 3rd or 4th line center with over a 5 million dollar cap hit that puts up those kind of totals. Not a 23 year old center thats cheaper and more than doubles his production a pick and a prospect on top of that too boot…give it a rest for a minute and look at what I am saying King its not a good deal imo from the Leafs perspective either its just THE TYPE of deal I could see Nonis and the gang having some interest in if it was available.

          • Hmm…more than doubles Richards production?

            Richards: 11g, 30 assists: 41 points
            Kadri: 20goals, 30 assists: 50 points.

            I see no more than doubling anywhere.

            Richards also brings leadership and toughness, an edge that Kadri doesn’t have.

            Richards has won the cup, and been to the finals 2 times in the last 4 years.

            Kadri is a nice player, but he is not worth what you think. What pick? What prospect? It would have to be huge, as LA would be losing a lot of their character and leadership for a package that is going to cost more in the future, and doesn’t make up nearly enough of the loss.

            How about this one?

            Kadri and Reimer to Vancouver for David Booth and Andrew Alberts.

            Toronto would getting a versatile player in Booth, who can play multiple forward positions.

            In Alberts, the Leafs would be picking up a huge vet who’s 6’5″ and 220lbs. The stay at home dman would fill the hole Schenn left on the blueline.

            Vancouver would be getting the rights to Reimer who would be RFA, and who was spotted working out with other Canucks players during the lockout in Vancouver. Kadri would fill in on the 3rd line, as Vancouver continues to try and fix it’s forward lines once and for the next few years.

            Vancouver would be taking on more salary as well, so that would help the Leafs have some spare change to sign a number one centre.

            It’s a can’t miss trade that works for all parties involved.

            Give me a break.

          • Think Ott or Callahan are making a 5.75 mill next year Gary cause well the heart leadership gritty all aplies to them too. guys under 20 goals playing 3rd line minutes just are not worth that kinda money. Hows Vinny working out? Its the same thing.

          • Id say 20 is pretty close to doubling 11 and Kadri had to drag around Clarkson for most the year on his line and is almost 6 years younger than Richards.

          • Your quote:
            “a 23 year old center thats cheaper and more than doubles his production ”

            My response: not even doubled.

            Stats don’t lie, son.

      • what about phaneuf to Florida for Kulikov. Toronto hold 1.5 to 2 mill of salary and fla keeps the cap hit ( if it even works like that anymore). Phaneuf can log big shutdown minutes with Gudbranson. Thoughts?

        • I think Gundbranson and Phaneuf would be great as a top pair. I think the only deal that mskes sense for the Leafs tho would be Phaneuf with some salary held and the 8 pick for the first. So Phaneuf at 5mill and 8th over all for the first. Wont happen now that Carlyle and Nonis are on their last leg tho.

    • What would a deal look like if the Leafs were trading for Kesler?

  9. Larry Brooks spouts off some silly stuff every now and then. Bottom line is that Nash is still a capable 30+ goal scorer and there is no point in trading him, keeping a portion of his cap hit (which the Rangers can’t afford to do), and then be in search for a 1st line scoring winger with about the same cap hit.

    For example, say that they trade Nash and keep a $2M or $3M cap hit, plus sign Vanek for even $6.5M cap hit. Where’s the benefit there?

    Nash is not going anywhere.

    • 100% agree.

      • Yep, not that Nash had looked great but there are some others not scoring aswell and up to last night that pp has been horror-awful.

    • Have to agree. Unless they can make a “hockey trade” to get back pieces they need I don’t see Nash going anywhere.

    • He’s still an all star IMO. Would be a dumb idea to trade him.

  10. Everyone talks about the minutes, who’s going to play the minutes Phanuef does. Well right know those are terrible minutes so does it really matter.

    • Thank you!!

  11. Pavelski to Leafs for Gardiner and a pick. Trade Clarkson to Oilers they wanted him last summer and could still use that type of player. They shouldn’t even care what the return is just get away from that deal.

    • Based on your Pavelski deal wouldn’t you expect Taylor Hall for Clarkson?

      • How bout Kadri Gardiner and the 8 pick, that maybe get the Sharks listening, maybe but with the year Pavelski had Im not sure its even close.

    • Pavelski to the Leafs for Gardiner and a pick….what #68 cause I don’t see Toronto giving up #8. So why not Pavelski for Meyers and #39. Meyers has had a crappy past two years, but seemed to have gotten some confidence back playing for Nolan – under the right coach (Robinson) Meyers’ upside potential might be maximized. On the other hand – Clarkson – bad contract and I don’t see TO unloading it, kind of like a Ville Leino type of deal. Maybe Clarkson will do better next year.

    • If the Sharks decide to make a few changes. Then the Leafs should consider making a play for Pavelski. I imagine Kadri would be involved with one of Franson/Gardiner/Reimer a pick (not the 8th) and possibly a prospect. Maybe the Sharks like the idea of having a Reimer/Stalock tandem, allowing them to use Niemi as a trade chip. If Pavelski is available, Oilers should make a play too.

    • Wow have a visit from Mary Jane today?

  12. ***IF*** Nash is on the market will the Leafs be able to resist a Brampton boy (London Knights product) with a “BIG” name? And given there is no sense of imminent playoff success for the Leafs, Nash’s postseason production issues won’t be a problem (LOL).

    • I’m not a leafs fan but they will make playoffs next season. Guaranteed.

      • Lol I am a Leaf fan and as much as it pains me to say it no, no they wont not if this madness keeps up.