NHL Morning Rumor Mill – April 2, 2014

Latest on Ryan Callahan, Andrei Markov and Jaromir Jagr, plus speculation of changes for the Jets and Panthers.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the Tampa Bay Lightning have indicated to Ryan Callahan’s agent their intent to re-sign him.  Callahan, an unrestricted free agent this summer, was acquired by the Lightning at the trade deadline. GM Steve Yzerman acknowledged he’d love to re-sign Callahan but said contract talks will wait until season’s end…LeBrun believes it’s increasingly likely John Tortorella will be fired as Canucks head coach…Contract talks between the Canadiens and Andrei Markov’s agent have resumed…A source tells LeBrun the agent for Jaromir Jagr met a few days ago with Devils GM Lou Lamoriello…Randy Carlyle’s future as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs will no doubt be on the table if the Leafs miss the playoffs.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance reports among the priorities for Florida Panthers management is to find the right veterans this summer. Former Panthers assistant GM Mike Santos believes they need size and toughness on defense and on the wings. Possible free agent targets could include Ales Hemsky, Steve Ott and Brooks Orpik.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning won’t pay what Callahan sought from the NY Rangers (over $6.25 million annually for seven years) before he was dealt to Tampa Bay. If Callahan enjoys his time with the Lightning, however, he could accept a lesser offer from the Bolts…It remains to be seen what happens with Tortorella and Carlyle, but it certainly doesn’t look good for both men to retain their current jobs…I expect Markov and Jagr will remain with their current teams. If the cap reaches $71 million the Panthers will have over $28 million to spend this summer and ownership has approved spending up to the cap if necessary. They went on a major spending spree three years ago and could do so again.

Could the Jets shop Evander Kane this summer?

Could the Jets shop Evander Kane this summer?

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS/WINNIPEG SUN: Gary Lawless believes the status quo won’t do for the Jets after missing the playoffs again. Lawless considers Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba the Jets’ only untouchables. Lawless claims an NHL GM told him Evander Kane could fetch the Jets a major return (roster players plus prospects and/or draft picks). Tobias Enstrom could also bring a good return. Lawless advocates retaining Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little. Kirk Penton believes a major trade or two could help the Jets, but suggests there’s not much GM Kevin Cheveldayoff can do after locking up most of his core players to long-term contracts unless he gets creative. Otherwise, expect another summer of minor upgrades.

SPORTSNET.CA: Luke Fox wonders if Leafs coach Randy Carlyle or goaltender James Reimer could end up in Winnipeg this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets need a significant shake-up but it remains to be seen if the patient, cautious Cheveldayoff will do so this summer. Kane’s injury and the effect it had on his performance this season could hurt his trade value. Besides, unless Kane demands a trade it would be best to retain the still-promising 22-year-old winger. Enstrom has a full no-movement clause and another three years at an annual cap hit of $5.75 million remaining on his contract. Moving him won’t be impossible but it will be difficult. Dustin Byfuglien could attract attention though he also have a hefty salary and a partial no-trade clause. If they pursue Reimer they could be forced to trade or buy out goalie Ondrej Pavelec. 


  1. LoL the ultimate in irony would be Reimer and Carlyle both end up in the Peg. Fingers crossed at least Randy, oddly enough the Jets are built alittle more to fit his style, for the first year or so (until the players cant stand him any more) they may have some success.

    • Yep, just think about how Lupul felt when Carlye was named the Leafs coach, the guy who ran him out of Anaheim. Carlyle is horrible with young players, if Jets hire him as coach with their young team, they will sink to the bottom.

    • Why would Maurice leave the Jets? Hasn’t he been offered the coaching Job?

      • He wants to discuss it with his family, overall he doesn’t seem keen to stay in Winnipeg and move his family there at this time which I think is a decision people can respect. He did well until the recent skid, could put him back on the map for other teams looking for coaching.

  2. I have a few friends that are Lightning fans and HATED the deal at the deadline. I told them they will love what they are getting (aside from the asking price to retain him). As a Ranger fan, I think the Rangers gave up WAY too much in this deal. St. Louis has pretty much been invisible in NY. Even if Callahan signs elsewhere, The Bolts are clear cut winners in this deal. It seems the Rangers are slipping back to the teams of 98-04. They will just give up on youth and sign / trade for aging stars. It is seriously time for Sather to just go away before Kreider, Hagelin, Mcdonagh, Stepan turns into Heatley, Bertuzzi, Murray and St. Louis

    • BINGO

      • Aanyone of them for Lupul? LOL

        • LOL…. You mean Bertuzzi, Heatley, Murray and St. Louis?

    • Just talking out loud but is there a chance that if Vancouver decides to go YOUTH movement we could see guys like Kessler / Elder / and others headed to NYR and
      Stepan / McDonagh headed for Vancouver. Not saying these are all the parts or even
      fair trade but a starting point to trade talking ending on draft day.

      • I don’t think NY would part ways with McD in the near future. They have him locked up for 5 years at a very nice cap hit. He is without a doubt the Rangers best player, (and probably top 4-5 d-man in the league) I can’t imagine even Sather is that stupid. Stepan….that is another story.

        • I don’t disagree with you BUT I don’t trust Sather, he is a ergo manic and still do not understand why he gave up the draft picks for St. Louis ( 38 years old). Have this feeling that he plans to retire in a few years and wants a cup and does not care if he leaves the future empty. As I recall when he was with the Oilers he made the statement that if he had the Rangers money he would win the cup every year, well guess what.

          • I agree with your assessment of Sather ,however finding an upgrade on McD would be nearly impossible, Suter or Weber are really the only 2 d-men I take over him. And to be honest, I’m not even sure I make that deal considering Mcd is MUCH younger and cheaper than both and is still getting better. So I really can’t see a reason to trade him at this point. Elder is a downgrade from Mcd. And with him signed for 5 more years, trading him now or soon couldn’t be justified. The Callahan / St. Louis deal I almost get….almost. Callahan needed to go, the Rangers needed a top 6 forward that can score. The draft picks were too much in that trade. I think Sather felt like his hands were tied and made a brutal deal in the last hour of the deadline. If it were just Callahan for St. Louis and a lower pick I could have lived with it. I don’t think anyone could have really seen how bad St. Louis would be 15 games in to his time with NY.

          • NYR4LIFE
            rangers throw in Krieder and talbot and Nucks will toss in Lack and
            the SISTERS. Have no clue how NYR stays under the cap but when
            they all retire at once be one hell of a retirement party.
            None of this will happen but V. as Rangers coach and Canucks
            really needing to rebuild, sort of fun to try and come up with something

          • LOL, It will really clear up cap space in 2016 when they all retire. But on a serious note, if the Rangers were to trade away their youth (Mcd, Kreider etc) and bring in more old players I’ll have to switch over to the dark side of Brooklyn in a few years.

    • NYR4LIFE, it wasn’t so much that we hated the deal here in Tampa… we hated the way that we felt abandoned by Marty St. Louis. A player that had been built up to be the heart of the team, who we then find out had been trying for years to get the heck out of here. Me and many of my hockey friends agree that no matter what, we got the better of this deal.

      • I agree 100%. Sather used to be better at trading. I have no idea why he killed this one. This deal should have been St. Louis for Callahan and a 2nd or 3rd rounder. St. Louis has 1-2 more good years ahead, Right now he is invisible in NY. Callahan (health permitting) has 10+ years left. Draft picks 10 + 10+ years for the draft picks given up, even if the are only 3rd or 4th liners. Sather basically gave up 30+ years of youth for a guy closer to an aarp card than signing a long term deal. Horrible deal for NY. Callahan is a great fit for Tampa. I hope he stays put there….My 2nd favorite team.

  3. (certain) Leafs fans drive me nuts with the way they criticize players. They hate on Kessel, one of the best wingers in the game, they hate on Phaneuf who is being used completely not properly and is being expected to be something that he is not and never has been, always critical of goaltending, and this season so much hate on Lupul. Yes, he has had a bit of a bumpy season and he has his share of injury woes … however you guys pretty much STOLE him from the Ducks … in 178 GP he has 67 goals 147 pts and most of the time is a responsible two way player. In the two seasons where he has played more than 60 games, he has broken the 20 goal mark. Give the guy a chance to get healthy and he is a worthwhile asset to the Leafs.

    The Leafs in my eyes should be retaining and building with Kessel, JVR, Lupul, Kadri, Reilly, Phaneuf, Clarkson, Bolland, Gleason, Gardiner, and Bernier. Quite frankly I believe that is a good core for them. If you don’t like literally ANY of those players then I would gladly have my Senators take any of them off your hands!

    • I agree.

    • For the most part I think your correct. My 2 cents is that Leafs need to get a quality d-man that eat up minutes and you can put out there at key moments who can be a SHUT DOWN D-man. They need a player like this WITHOUT giving up a core player like in signing a UFA,

      • I hope its not me who you think is hating on any of the players you are mentioning, thats not the case at all. Generally Im defending them. The only reason I have for moving Lupul is his age and value going forward, he is a very god forward who plays hard most every shift, teams will give up something to get him snd the Leafs could use that in other areas like defense. You have to give up something if you want to get something to help your team, and the Leafs despeayely need D. Lupul is 30 and will be playing out the downside of his career in coming seasons, Id rather move him now while he has some value before Id move anyone of the others you mentioned, and guys like Reimer Franson Bodie Ashton or picks are not going to bring in the need or provide the capspace needed to improve the team in any meaningful way. Lupul is 4 or 5 years older than the core of this group Id rather have someone who fits that core better and for longer

        • lupul aint getting you a top dman

    • I suspect that a number of fans are struggling with failed expectations. There is a pretty active hype machine around the Leafs in both local and national media. The players they love then hate then love etc. are all hyped (or trashed) endlessly by the media. I believe that this is part of the reason we occasionally see trade suggestions that no one else thinks are remotely reasonable. The problem with Kessel and Phaneuf is that they aren’t only expected to play like something they aren’t but they are being paid at a level where they are expected to perform like something they aren’t. Kessel is an incredible goal scorer but idn’t a stud in some of the other elements of the game. He’s being paid like an elite superstar so expectations are heightened. Phaneuf is very good d-man who is being paid like a Norris trophy candidate.

      • Here’s the problem: “Kessel is an incredible goal scorer but idn’t a stud in some of the other elements of the game. He’s being paid like an elite superstar so expectations are heightened.”

        Two dumb things right there! The first line, Kessel can score goals “Kessel is an incredible goal scorer” but sucks at everything else “but idn’t a stud in other elements of the game”.

        Second part says, Kessel is paid like a guy that is elite and because of that, people think he should score more and more often or be better at other things than just scoring goals, whatever that is.

        The truth is too many fans watch too many highlight reel plays and distort their perception of what is or what makes a good player above most. Toronto, the city, the fans suffers from too many armchair GMs.

  4. During the 1st intermission in the Canuck/Ranger game the. TSN panel was asked who was going to get fired: Gillis; Torts; or both. The pundits all thought Gillis would be gone and Torts would be given a year to change his coaching style and spread the minutes out so he doesn’t burn out certain players. Personally, I doubt it’s possible for a coach to change his overall philosophy, otherwise Torts wouldn’t have taken a reasonably skilled puck possession team And made them a team of dump and chase grinders in the first place. With his emphasis on collapsing around the net and blocking shots, the Canucks transition from D to O, once a beautiful, fast-flowing action that put teams back on their heels, is so slow it’s ineffective. Both Torts and Carlyle are old school and their systems from the 90’s may not work in today’s NHL with today’s players.

    If Florida is trying to get bigger and tougher on the wings, why mention Hemsky in the same article?

  5. I wish the Sabres would trade for Evander Kane – been saying it all year. I really like Kane’s aggressive, gritty style and I believe he would fit in nicely with our prospects and Nolan’s coaching style. He would also bring a veteran’s presence to the team albeit he is young. Seems to me the Jets need goaltending – why not offer Enroth, Adam and trade pick.

    Whats interesting about the Sabres is with Nolan we are seeing Stafford, Ennis and Meyers flourish under his charge. Stafford has regained his confidence and is showing his leadership and while its been missing in action for a few years – I’m happy for him and would like to see it continue.

    IMO, Bflo needs a couple of skilled vets that can mentor our youngsters – maybe like Callahan, Jagr, Ott, Moulson, Statsny or Cammalleri. Ideally – Statsny would probably be a good Center to pick up and I really like what Jagr has done down in NJ working with their youngsters.

    While we all know Bflo is rebuilding – as a fan all I ask for is a competitive game and for the most part since Nolan has taken over and we really don’t have any “superstars” – the team is keeping it close. I don’t have a problem with the rebuild and now that the “iterim” label has been eliminated from Nolan I believe he will include more play of our youngsters into his coaching philosophy. It’s refreshing to hear players saying they “love” playing for Nolan and the Sabres and it might help attract some valid UFAs to sign with the Sabres to help lead and mentor our youngsters.

    • While I agree that Kane would look good in a Sabres uniform, I don’t think it will happen – even for the price you stated.

      My thinking is that it would require Meyers + to get Kane. And that might be too high a price, when you add in a pick and perhaps a goalie (Neuvirth?).

      • Out of all your ideas Steve, I must say the Kane to Buffalo is the only one that has value to me. I would be willing to give up Enroth and even a younger more proven D-man like CHAD RUHWEDEL or another up and comer. Considering we just signed McCabe today.
        A few hard working guys as vets that can still perform, but don’t cost $5 million plus would be nice to see. Other than some other guys like Kane, I’m not biting.

  6. NYR4Life….I agree that McDonough is good bordering on very good, but to suggest that he is better than any other D not named weber or suter is laughable. I would take Keith, Doughty, Pietrangelo and Giordano over him all day, every day.

    • Well I guess you don’t catch too many Ranger games or have a solid understanding of his game. Duncan Keith is very good, but he is also 6 years older (30). If I’m looking for 10+ years of success, I am not taking Keith over Mcd.Ditto Giordano, Doughty is very comparable to McD, but McD is not only a better shut down d-man, but also has more goals and assists than Doughty. However, I will take points completely off the table. Because it is not the side of his game that makes me rank him so highly. It is his ability to shut down opposition night after night. Pietrangelo again very comparable, but at present time he would be considered as untouchable at Mcdonagh. We were talking trade scenarios, I highly doubt a team trades a Doughty or a Pietrangelo for a Mcdonagh…..what would the point be? I suppose there would be a lot of people that would rank PK Subban, Karlsson, Chara, Letang (healthy) Larsson etc higher than McD or anyone you mention. I guess it boils down to familiarity of the player and what aspect of their game you are looking for in a d-man. And more importantly how they fit into a system.

      • I also stated “Suter or Weber are really the only 2 d-men I take over him. And to be honest, I’m not even sure I make that deal considering Mcd is MUCH younger and cheaper than both and is still getting better. ” So lets not just read what we want and “find it laughable” Am I saying Suter or Weber are lesser players or McD will ever be better? Not so much.

        • Ya I know how to read, you said the only two d man you’d take over McD is Suter and Weber, and considering age your not sure you’d even do that. I FIND THAT LAUGHABLE is what I said. Doughty is the same age as Mcd and is a far better D man and has accomplished ten times more than McD has with his world Jr and Olympic golds, Stanley cup, and Norris trophy runner up as a 20 year old. Take a look at the past Olympics, Doughty was one of the best if not the best player on a star studded Canadian Team, did McD even play???

          • Did You watch this years Olympics? I mean Suter & Mcd seemed like the only D-men for the American team!!!????

      • NYR4life……..For starters you must be delusional if you think that Mcd is better shutdown D man than Doughty is, in fact its not even close. Doughty plays for the best defensive team in the league and is BY FAR their best d man. Points don’t mean a damn thing, LA is notorious for not scoring many goals. You need to watch some Kings games before coming on here and looking like a homer. I find it funny that you base a players performance on one stat (points), explain this to me if McD is a better shutdown D man than Doughty and has more points than him, why does Doughty have a much better +/- rating while playing more minutes a game??????

        • I guess you really have a hard time with reading comprehension. I mean you say you are reading, I guess you just can’t understand what I’m saying. What I said about points??????……………… “However, I will take points completely off the table. Because it is not the side of his game that makes me rank him so highly.” If I were ranking either on points, neither would make the top 10. Doughty averages just under 26 minutes per game….Mcd averages just under 25….so lets not talk about minutes like there is a 10 minute gap. Doughty +/- 18 McD +/-11 is that night and day difference? And is +/- not the most arguable bs stat in hockey? Yet you rank it in higher regard than points? Doughty was a “Norris runner up” Not so much, he finished 4th…..thats not runner up!!!!! Runner up would be 2nd “LA is the best defensive team in the league”…..NY ranks 4th in gaa. You’re really going to throw his Olympic accomplishments in there? If McD was Canadian, and Doughty was American….you think the results were different in the Olympics? Talk about a homer!!! You are reaching, and at this point it seems like reaching more to antagonize than to actually get a point across, and really if I wanted to deal with someone (over an opinion) acting like a 8 year old child….I’d spend my time on yahoo sports!

  7. I have a good idea… Swap Torts for Carlyle. Worked for the Rangers :)