NHL Evening Rumor Mill – June 23, 2014

Ranking the top 25 UFAs plus the latest on Ryan Kesler, Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan, and updates on the Bruins, Wild and more. 

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance lists his top-25 UFAs this summer. Topping the list are Paul Stastny, Thomas Vanek, Ryan Callahan, Ryan Miller, Matt Niskanen, Marian Gaborik, Dan Boyle, Jarome Iginla, Anton Stralman and Matt Moulson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most of his top UFAs matches my recent ranking, though not necessarily in the same order. And we can both strike Andrei Markov from our respective lists. 

Are the Kings close to re-signing Marian Gaborik?

Are the Kings close to re-signing Marian Gaborik?

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman hears the Kings offer to Marian Gaborik is three years between $5.5 – $6 million annually…Panthers GM Dale Tallon might not make his final decision about moving or retaining the first overall pick in this year’s draft until Thursday evening (the night before the opening round)…The Canucks “definitely” made an offer for it, which Friedman believes consists of the sixth overall pick and prospect Hunter Shinkaruk, plus another roster piece, though it’s not Ryan Kesler.  Friedman believes Kesler’s list of trade destinations is a short one, but it does include Anaheim. It’s been reported he’ll only accept Chicago or Pittsburgh. Friedman also wonders if a three-way deal might be necessary to move Kesler where he wants to go…The Leafs are getting inquiries about Morgan Reilly (unavailable), Jake Gardiner and James van Riemsdyk. GM Dave Nonis has consistently said he’ll only trade youth for youth…Friedman believes we should keep an eye on Carolina and Winnipeg. There’s growing consensus the Jets could move Evander Kane and perhaps Zach Bogosian. However, they may be simply listening to offers and necessarily ready to pull the trigger…The Flyers might try to move near the top of the draft…There’s lots of reports linking Jason Spezza to the St. Louis Blues. Friedman believes Eric Staal would also look good as a Blue if the Hurricanes want to do that. Patrik Berglund could become a trade chip for the Blues…Barring a “ridiculous offer”, Kris Letang won’t be traded.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Eric Duhatschek reports moving Ryan Kesler could prove interesting for the Canucks if indeed he only wants to go to the Blackhawks or Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Let’s all be careful  buying into the “Kesler only wants to go to two teams” stuff. Yes, the Blackhawks and Penguins were on his list of preferred destinations, but so too were Anaheim, Colorado, Detroit and Tampa Bay. The Blackhawks can’t possibly afford Kesler unless it’s a dollar-for-dollar swap or the Canucks agree to pick up half his remaining salary. I don’t see Kesler as a fit with the Wings, Avs or Tampa Bay, as the Wings are pursuing a right-handed defenseman, while the Avs and Bolts are deep at center. That leaves the Ducks and Penguins. The Ducks are interested in Kesler but the Canucks are probably unwilling to ship him to a division rival. That leaves the Penguins, who might be willing to add Kesler if new GM Jim Rutherford decides it’s time to shake things up. Otherwise, Kesler will have to widen his trade list. The Blues are believed very interested in him, and I can’t see any reason why he wouldn’t want to go there. I don’t believe Kesler will widen his list to include Canadian teams. 

I expect the Kings will re-sign Gaborik and they’re reportedly close to re-signing Matt Greene…If the Canucks want that first overall pick they must part with a good roster player as part of the return…The Leafs would be nuts to part with van Riemsdyk and they aren’t moving Reilly. Gardiner, however, remains a trade possibility…I’m still not convinced the Jets will part with Kane, but if they do they’ll want a significant return as they’re trying to win now. They’ll get more from shopping Dustin Byfuglien than Zach Bogosian…Don’t see the Hurricanes moving Eric Staal…If I were an NHL GM, I wouldn’t be interested in Kris Letang. If he were healthier, sure, but that long injury history is a concern, as is that big contract. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Lisa Dillman reports Marian Gaborik’s agent said his camp is hoping to work out a deal with the Kings.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports contract talks between the Lightning and Ryan Callahan’s agent have reached a critical stage. It appears increasingly likely Callahan will test the UFA market, though his agent isn’t shutting the door on the Lightning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I have a feeling Callahan is still seeking something in the neighborhood of six-years and $39 million. Way too much. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli doesn’t intend on using his two compliance buyouts to shed salary. Haggerty reports Chiarelli says they have solutions to their cap issues without going the compliance buyout route.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’ll put Marc Savard on LTIR again next season but that won’t provide additional cap space as the Bruins could be hit with nearly $5 million in salary cap penalties. One of those options is a trade. Johnny Boychuk, Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid are possible trade candidates.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild are shopping forward Kyle Brodziak and are willing to pick up part of Niklas Backstrom’s salary to facilitate a trade.


  1. Call me crazy but would the Pens be better with Crosby/Kesler or Crosby/Malkin for a playoff run?
    I prefer Malkin over Sid but he will not be dealt. Crosby-Malkin-Kesler is a lot at center

    • Not if they move Malkin to the wing with Crosby, where he played at times this year and during the playoffs.

    • To Canucks…. Malkin and Dupuis

      To Penguins… Canucks first round pick, Ryan Kesler, Janik Hansen and Zach Kassian

      To Oilers…… Fleury, Scuderi and Letang

      To Penguins……..Oilers first round pick and Darnell Nurse


      Malkin is a floater sometimes and is injury prone,
      MAF needs a new home and Letang is overated, sign Hiller for three years and Bodeur for one as we wait for Tristen JArry

      • To Oilers…… Fleury, Scuderi and Letang

        To Penguins……..Oilers first round pick and Darnell Nurse
        this is a riot. do any of these three pens players even have positive value?

        only on planet uranus does this trade make sense.

        just so i understand the pens clear a crazy amount of cap space, dump an overpaid goalie who is beyond fragile, move a slow, washed up dman and an overated d who now has a heart condition. oh, did i mention he has a terrible contract? in return, the pens get an outstanding d prospect and top draft pick.

        this trade offer is remarkable.

        • *slow clap

        • Letang straight up for nurse and 1st rips off pens, though its close. add in fluery who has value? yuck for the pens.

          • chrisms… Letang for the 3rd overall and Nurse rips off the Pens? Lol what world are you living in?

      • @pen’s 4ever


        That is all I have to say.

  2. I see Boston moving one of those three guys, so they could sign Iginla. I don’t think Boston needs Kelly anymore.

    • I am wondering if a deal between Boston and Edmonton would be useful. Edm needs defense and they could offer Yakupov to Bos for Boychuck plus a low rd. pick.

      Bos get cap relief and a scoring winger who is young (since their core is aging).
      Edm gets a hard nosed defenseman who paired with Ference can potentially be a shutdown pairing to allow the young D core of Edm more time to develop.


      • While I think Boychuk would be an asset to his hometown Oilers, I think you are undervaluing Nail Yakupov. Not only was he a first overall pick just two seasons ago (which has currency in this league), he has shown flashes of being a genuine star once he adjusts to the defensive side of the NHL game.

        This is not to say that the Oilers wouldn’t be so stupid as to give up on him (for a similar aged high draft pick having similar adjustment problems but playing center or defense), just that Boychuk is setting the bar too low. If it’s gonna be Boychuk, think more along the lines of him and next years first for Yakupov.

        • I think Boston is gonna keep Boychuk his cap hit is only 3 mill and with Chara getting older Boychuck can take alot of min and Siedenberg coming back thats a good top 4 with Hamilton.The Bruins would give up Mcquaid and Kelly while only looking to get draft picks or prospects back.Also Kelly has become expendable at center when they have 4 centers now and Mcquaid being on 3rd defence pairing he is replaced by Bartowski or Miller with Krug.

    • As a Canucks supporter that trade offer seems like a lot for the Canucks to give up for Reinhart, especially when you look at who is likely to be available at 6th.

      20144 Draft Eligible Players likely available at 6th overall:
      – Jake Virtanen
      – Nick Richie
      – Nikolaj Ehlers
      – William Nylander
      – Michael Dal Colle (outside chance he slips out of top 5)

      Based on what we have heard from Benning and the division the Canucks play in, Virtanen, Richie and Dal Colle seem to fit the model more so than the smaller, slighter Nylander & Ehlers. Let’s assume that Vancouver doesn’t share Craig Buttons view on player rankings and is prepared to select local boy Jake Virtanen at 6th. How would Virtanen, Shinkaruk and Tanev impact the Canuck roster vs Sam Reinhart? If Sam was more of a lock #1C I’d feel a lot more comfortable with that offer. It could just be my biased Canuck vision but I’d like to think that those 3 players would have a more positive impact than just Reinhart.

      • If Canucks are trading for the #1 (and including a defenseman) it is for Ekblad not Reinhart. That being said, I agree the Canucks would be better off drafting a player with the 6th overall. Ritchie or Virtanen would be great picks in that position.

      • Shinkaruk, 6th overall and another player (Most likely a nobody) is a little less then expected for the 1st overall. If it is Kesler, 6th overall and Gaunce then it makes sense for both teams. But that is way to little IMO for the number one. You could probably get the 3rd overall for Garrison and the 6th overall.

  3. To Pittsburgh: Ryan Kesler & Chris Tanev
    To Vancouver: James Neal & 2nd round pick

    Kunitz. Crosby. Malkin
    Dupuis. Kesler. Moulson/Cammalleri/Vrbata in order of preference.

    • Tanev is not going anywhere but off season training camp with Vancouver. This trade also leaves Vancouver thin and soft down the middle.

    • do you even watch the west? this trade is not happening

    • Malkin wont play wing. They would have keep Staal if he would. Kesler is out unless Malkin is going somewhere else which wont be the case.

  4. The issue that Benning faces in trading Kesler, outside of what Spector noted, is that as ihatecorsby noted it leaves the Canucks thin up the middle. Horvat & Gaunce don’t appear ready for the 2C duties. So the Canucks have to look at their options; sign a free agent 2C maybe Statsny but realistically Santorelli; get a C in the return package for Kesler, Sutter has been mentioned in Pens offer; or find a way to move up in draft on the basis that Reinhart is capable of running the 2nd line in Vancouver next year. Based up on Freidman’s rumour of Shinkaruk + 6th + roster player, it would seem like Vancouver feels Reinhart is ready and capable. Vancouver needs to have one of those 3 options solidified prior to trading Kesler.

  5. I can see Benning maybe trying to get a player or two from Boston, and one of those could be McQuaid &/or Kelly.

    • I don’t see McQuiad being traded. Kelly I can see being dealt though.

  6. If Iginla doesn’t work out a deal with the Bruins, I wonder if he is another player the Jackets could try and sell. Adding Hartnell and Iginla brings a lot of grit, leadership, and character to a young Jackets team that looks to be on the cusp. Hand him a two year deal, 2nd line duty, watch him give you 25-30 goals and a heck of a lot of grit. Or if you could imagine for a moment the Jackets in a tight spot and they deploy a line of Harnell, Dubinsky, Iginla … say goodnight.

    • Dont forget they have Horton who was injured most of last season and playoffs

    • Doubt it’d happen. Iggy wants a cup and Columbus is a few years away from even being considered for a cup. He will end up signing in Boston again.

  7. Spezza has a 4M salary or 7M cap hit.

    Eric Staal salary next season is 9.25M his cap hit is 8.250. Going to be hard to move that Staal contract even though it’s only for 2 more years.

  8. The Bruins stay away from Russians since the olden days of Karvaltonov,(crazy),Samsonov,(flamed out),Ryabchikov,(goalie who could not play in the ECHL) and Voltok,(suicide).Please no Yakupov here in Julien’s defense first philosophy?,no way.Lots of young defense men and Campbell and Paille and yes Kelly ( injury prone) in play here plus their first rounder.Sitting pretty and plump.Florek,Spooner,Fraser,Morrow and Warsofsky. Svedberg backs up Rask and Subban backstops the Providence entry.Boychuk is a fan favorite and a healthy McQuaid pick one.All the pieces are here save Iginla. North American players,Finns,Swedes and Slovaks thank you.

    • Totally agree. I don’t care where he was drafted he is not a Bruin style player.
      Defenseman are more valuable nowadays than forwards as everyone is starting to realize how to win a cup. Bruins should keep Boychuk as he is our top 2-3 defenseman on a nightly basis. If we need to dump salary Kelly,Champbell,Paille,Marchand or Maquaid could be traded or bought out.

  9. Oh yeah and do not forget 2 Russian’s caused the Boston Massacre.Not in this town no way.Feelings run deep here.Neely and Chiarelli know that.

    • So because of two terrorists your rejecting a whole country?

  10. Isn’t this awful management by Boston? I mean almost 5 mill over because of bad cap management….. They now have to trade players away and be 5 mill under the cap as opposed to adding..

    • Not at all. They got penalized due to Iginlas contract which was set to carry over that way. If they put Savard on LTIR they can probably still sign everyone back plus Iggy if he did another incentive laddend contract. I think he’s looking for a bigger contract and Boston can’t afford to do it. Chia is doing a good job but I don’t agree with some of his trades.

    • Its not bad cap management, it was the result of a bonus laden contract for Iginla. The new CBA allows for teasm to sign certain players to low salary, high bonus contracts, where the bonus gets applied to the cap the next season. Iginla got bonuses for scoring 30 goals, which are nnow going to apply to the Bruins cap. Its actualy shrewd management, especially if the resign iginla to a similar contract and win a cup.

  11. Bruins need to move some salary, they may move Johnny and maybe Kelly and if they could get Nail in return I think that the Bruins system would help Yakapov mature.

  12. I love a good moron penguin fan….haha…great trades for them but nothing in return for the other teams…You are forgetting that this entire cap problem the penguins have is because Ray Shero was always a flyers fan at heart and cap strapped these penguins on purpose.