NHL Free Agency Rumor Mill – July 1, 2014

The latest on Paul Stastny, Jarome Iginla, Thomas Vanek, Matt Niskanen, Dan Boyle, Brad Richards, Radim Vrbata, Matt Moulson, Willie Mitchell and more. 

Could the Blues land Paul Stastny today?

Could the Blues land Paul Stastny today?

STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford reports Paul Stastny is the Blues top priority. They’ll also seek forwards to bolster their bottom-six.  “Some options for the club include Pittsburgh’s Jussi Jokinen, Winnipeg’s Olli Jokinen, Arizona’s Radim Vrbata, the New York Rangers’ Brian Boyle, the New Jersey Devils’ Steve Bernier and former Blue Lee Stempniak, who most recently played with the Penguins”, reports Rutherford.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper compiles a list of potential offense target for the Nashville Predators. Among them are Paul Stastny, Thomas Vanek, Mikhail Grabovski, Matt Moulson and Derek Roy.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika doesn’t expect the Stars to snag Paul Stastny but suggests center Mathieu Perreault and goalie Anders Lindback could be options.

NJ.COM: Rich Chere believes the Devils compliance buyout of Anton Volchenkov means they could get into the bidding for Paul Stastny.

BOSTON GLOBE/CSNN.COM: The Bruins await Jarome Iginla’s decision as he tests the UFA market, as finding a replacement for him could be difficult with their limited cap space. Joe Haggerty reports one option could be former Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata. Montreal, Tampa Bay and San Jose also had interest. 

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports goalscorers Thomas Vanek and Jarome Iginla are atop the Minnesota Wild’s free agent list. The Wild had interest in Paul Stastny but he appears destined for St. Louis or elsewhere. It appears the Wild won’t get into the bidding for Matt Niskanen.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Detroit Red Wings are aggressively pursuing Matt Niskanen and Dan Boyle, but are out of the Christian Ehrhoff sweepstakes.

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports Brad Richards could be an intriguing option for the NY Islanders, though he could command three years and between $10-$12 million.

BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports the Sabres have interest in “former Sabres players Steve Ott and Matt Moulson, plus Montreal’s Brian Gionta. More importantly, all three list Buffalo as a possible destination, according to various sources.”

SUNSENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov reports the Florida Panthers have plenty of cap space and defensive needs to address, plus a need for depth on right wing. Possible targets could include Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Anton Stralman and Radim Vrbata. They could also be in the bidding for Dave Bolland, Matt Moulson or Jussi Jokinen.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard reports the Rangers are prepared to lose Brian Boyle, Benoit Pouliot and Anton Stralman to free agency. They’ve reportedly checked in on Dan Boyle and Mark Fayne.

WASHINGTON POST: Alex Prewitt reports the Capitals have expressed interest in Matt Niskanen.

TAMPA TRIBUNE: Erik Erlendsson reports the Lightning would like to add a right-handed blueliner to balance out their defense. “Dan Boyle, Matt Niskanen and Anton Stralman are the biggest names on the market who play the right side.” Erlendsson also reports on other possible free agent targets for the Bolts. “Potential goaltenders include Thomas Greiss, Al Montoya, Justin Peters and Martin Brodeur. And if Tampa Bay is looking for a lower-line center, it could consider Brian Boyle, Manny Malhotra, Steve Ott or possibly Brad Richards, though that is considered a long shot.”

TRIBLIVE.COM: Josh Yohe reports Nikolai Kulemin and Benoit Pouliot rank high on the Penguins free-agent list.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Lisa Dillman reports former Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell begins his search for a new team today. One destination could be the Minnesota Wild, with whom he’s had informal talks.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli lists several bargain free agent targets for the cap-strapped Flyers, including Peter Mueller, T.J. Brennan and Anders Lindback.


  1. Pouliot will be a very good lower cost pick up for some one, the guy has very good posession numbers.

    • I think he is set to get overpaid in ufa, but then again….I think there will be a lot of that going around.

      • With out a doubt.
        This is going to be a car wreck of a ufa day. Instead of twisted steel and broken glass it will be twisted contracts and broken ambitions with alot of this crew.

        • LOL, And I was just talking about Rangers…. I think every single UFA Ranger is going to make a lot of fans unhappy for years to come, and a few Gm’s lose their jobs.

          • Tallon Nonis Snow Wilson are the 4 (so far) that I see looking for work next year. Today is not going to help them any.

        • I’d love to add Sather to the list, but he will still be calling the shots in NY after his death.

          • Ouch 4.5 mill for Boyle….you could be right.

          • I guess that’s his short term band-aid for Stralmans departure….

          • But for a quick moment I thought they re-signed Brian Boyle to 2 years 4.5 per….I almost threw up!

          • Well add the caps new gm to that list of 4 and I think Tallon takes the early lead for first Gm to be fired before Christmas.

  2. I struggle to understand how the AHL defenseman of the year is sitting as a UFA now, just not something that makes sense at all. I really think that Statsny and Niskanen are going to be ufa busts.

    • Ahl defenseman of the year….”what do you think of this guy Randy?”…..”ehhh let him walk for nothing” what a mess.

  3. Lyle,

    Quick question: Is there any rule that prevents two teams from working together to get a player signed by having one team sign a player and then trade him to another while retaining cap hit? For example, say the Florida Panthers sign Iginla to a one year $3M deal, and then flip him to Boston for a 3rd round pick and retain enough of Iginla’s salary to make the deal work for Boston?

    This sounds perilously close to cap circumvention but they really are sort of working within the rules. Essentially they’re giving a pick for cap space, which is what happens at the trade deadline.

    • There’s nothing preventing that sort of thing from happening, provided neither club reveals that is their intent. The league would have to prove cap circumvention.

  4. Mark my words Stastny will crap the bed on this new contract. In an ordinary year (non UFA) he’s a 20 goal 55 point man tops.

    • Probably not worth the contract he will get today no, but how is a 2 c that gets 20-30 goals 50 +points plays pk good defensively wins faceoffs a bad thing or crapping the bed??? those are good numbers and you make it sound like Clarkson or Leino…

      • I’m talking about his pending CONTRACT… Read the post.
        Did I say 20 goal, 50 point man is crap? No.. I said he will crap the bed on his new contract because he is a 20 goal 50 point man. I Didn’t realize I needed to write a 30 page report for you to explain how he will be grossly over paid and therefore will not live up to his contract?

    • Well if I’m going to sign a bad deal I’d rather make it a Stastny bad deal rather than a Brian Boyle or Niskanen bad deal.

      • Three wrongs don’t make a right. There are more efficient deals out there. Cap management is a massive part of the game now. You have to get the best you can get for the money you have budgeted for that position otherwise it just takes away from other parts of your line up and makes you weak.

        • 3 wrongs dont make a right….Leafs24/7 third post on Stasny still wrong.

        • I don’t know that I agree that there are more efficient deals out there. Considering Stastny will more than likely get in the neighborhood of 6.5-7 per, while 3rd liners are probably going to be getting 3.5 per this year. Stastny is on the right side of 30, unlike most fa centers this year 60 point guy who like Shticky says above kills penalties , wins faceoffs etc….I’ll take it…

          • Pouliot just got 4 million per for 5 years to be a bottom 6 guy…….

          • And only 4 year deal, pretty decent really. The Blues have done s good job so far thid offseason so far.

  5. Wings are going to offer Niskanen 7 years at 6.5 and Bole 2 year deal at 11 I am reading.

    Our only competition per every source on earth is TB and Stevie Y

    • Not sure if Detroit is willing to give Niskanen $6.5 million per year, But Detroit is willing to give Niskanen his asking price of 7 years $42 million or a $6.0 million AAV.

  6. Spezza dealt to Dallas

    • for Chiasson and a 2nd and 2 no name prospects

      • It truly is a buyers market at the moment.

    • Dallas should be a good fit for Spezza.

  7. If I’m Nonis I’d take a shot at LeCavalier and Richards for my third line IF you can convince Philly to retain $2M on LeCav and sign Richards to play with Vinny for $3M X 3 years. Therefore you third line costs you $2.5M + $3M = $5.5M + who ever else you put on it. Both those guys are already being paid a bunch from other teams and there is always a chance you strike gold getting those to playing up to their potential. It’s low risk at those salary figures for three years to fill out your third line.

    • Ummm are you not the same guy who says Nonis sucks at the cap? would it maybe not be easier to play some of the cheaper centers on the Marlies third line minutes instead of brining in guys like that???….isnt that kinda the same problem the Leafs have every year trading or signing over priced third liners? Why should they do that becsuse Vinny and Rivhards are leaders mentors or have the will to win??? Look how good teams are built, you dont trade for or sign ufa 3rd liners. They come from within the system.

      • Ummm. I don’t consider $5.5M for 3 years on the third line for two guys of this quality and leadership a cap problem. Clarkson at $5.25M on your third line is a Cap problem, Bolland at $5.0M + on your third line is a Cap problem, paying zero skill Komorov $2M for your third line is a Cap issue, Paying stone hands Kulemin $3M + for your third line is a Cap problem. Vinny and Richards at $5.5M on your third line is far from a Cap problem.
        Ever heard of the saying buy low and sell high. Clarkson is an example of the opposite “buy high” along with most over priced UFA’s like Stastny. Vinny/Richards at those salaries is an example of buying low. Low Risk high upside.

        • You do realize that averages out to $2.75M per guy right???

          Vinny and Richards both scored 20 goals each in an off year for them. Shake your head and imagine your third line contributing 40 goals from just two guys for a paltry $5.5M or 8% of your Cap space. Think outside the box for a minute and not like the rest of the heard. Low risk high reward…

          • Think either of them come close to those totals with the Leafs third liners? How do they look defensively? You know like 3rd liners are often used for… lol

          • Well considering Vinny played 3rd line minutes and Richards played 2nd line all year and they were both off their game a bit, yes, I think they will come damn close to 40 goals. I don’t expect you to agree with this plan considering you were pounding the table last summer to sign Clarkson at what ever cost. Same guy that said the Bernier /Reimer experiment would work instead of trading Reim’s when his value was high. Same guy that was fine with Phaneufs contract and that wants to dump Lupul for a bag of pucks, same guy that loved Nonis and now wants him gone. I think the only thing you can do at this point buddy boy is go watch the movie money ball so you will get somewhat of an idea how to manage a team within a budget for the best return and then realize the Leafs are not a low budget team but do need to maximize their cap return on each player based on their expected time on ice. I know you would rather pay Kessel and Clarkson $13M to score 42 goals and 49 points as opposed to paying Vinny and Richards $5.5M to score 40 goals and 48 points. Give it up buddy I can do this all day long because it makes total sense to try and get those two for that price. How do they look defensely.. lol… Please… How did the Kessel line look defensively in the last half the season or for that matter in any season? Your arguments are poor at best.

          • Lol pounding the table…your nuts.

          • Nice rebuttal. I’ll take that as you know Vinny and Richards would be the right choice.

            40 goals for $5.5M believe it and do it Nonis.

          • $7M for Stastny’s 20 goals. What a joke…

          • Don’t bother posting Shticky we all know you think $7M for Stastny is a steal of a deal until he doesn’t perform and then you will change your tune and start saying how terrible a deal it is and what an idiot the GM is.

          • Why waste time with a rebutal? Your view is warped. Im stiil fine with Phaneuf Kessel is not paid for defence (funny how you mention that after saying Stasny for 7 mill is too much he geys 9 goals less plays center and is very good defensively but he is a joke too roght smart guy?) Lupul should be traded for as little as possible to get out of a rather ecpensive contract, you know those ecpensive contracts you dont like so much, ya he has one., on amd on, go watch money ball some more so you can pretend you know what your talking about some more. LMAO

          • You make zero sense as usual

          • Makes no sense… slow it down for you yet again.
            You complain about high priced goal scorer (kessel) he plays no defense he is just awinger not worth the contract blah blah blah…he scored 39 goals had over 80 points, and then with your next breath you complain about a very good defencive center who puts up 50 plus points. You bitch and whine about and contracts then try and say I am dumb for wanting to trade Lupul who before this year is out could very well be a third line winger making 5.5 mill he is not getting any younger… yes you trade him for a bag of pucks now before you have to trade him for a bag of pucks and throw a pick in and hold salary to do it. He will be one of those bad contracts you think you know about. You have no idea what your talking about, probably because you think you if you watch a movie like Money balll enough so it must have taught you something and that means you must know what youre talking about. you sir are a joke

          • I must have hit a nerve with that movie since you keep bringing it up in every post. I’m guessing it’s your favorite movie and the password to all your accounts.

  8. Spezza traded to the Stars for Chiasson, Guptill. Paul and a 2nd.

    • That’s a great deal for Dallas.

      • Makes the Stars strong down the middle.

  9. Bahaha Bye Bye Bolland!

  10. To Funny… Gorges would rather play in Buffalo then for the Maple Leafs. What does that tell ya. lol

    • That someguys wont go to a hated rival?

      • Yes, I’m sure that was the sole reason he choose Buffalo over the hockey meca. Wake up and smell the roses buddy. You boy Nonis has made a bigger joke out of this franchise then JFJ.

        • I believe Gorges indicated that (dislikes the Leafs due to the rivalry), and Buffalo was more desirable due to Gionta. Again, that was what was reported. You don’t have to believe it if it makes you uncomfortable.

    • It tells you that he would rather play in a city where English is still the majority language and soccer is not becoming the dominant sport.

  11. Bye bye Raymond at $3.16M. Good for Mason. Good for the Leafs

    • Thank god Nonis didn’t sign Bolland for $5.5! Raymond is also a little bit overpaid! $2.5 would have been acceptable IMO.

  12. Hemsky and Spezza reunited in Dallas!

  13. Florida must be excited, not about all these free agents, but when they find out they have a hockey team in Miami they are gonna go NUTS!!!

    • LOL!

    • I’m at work and when I read that it made me laugh out loud. People are looking at me.

  14. Nonis has gone from a “play it safe and play it stupid man” to just plain old “play it stupid”.