NHL Morning Rumor Mill – August 24, 2013.

The latest on notable available free agents, plus updates on Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle and Adam Henrique.

USA TODAY: Kevin Allen recently observed “Daniel Cleary, Ryan Whitney, Brenden Morrow, Ron Hainsey, Simon Gagne, Brad Boyes, Tom Gilbert, Ian White, Damien Brunner and David Steckel” are among the notable players still available in the UFA market.

NATIONAL POST: Sean Fitzgerald recently built a team with the best available UFAs, with Ilya Bryzgalov as his starting goalie, Ron Hainsey and Filip Kuba his starting defense, with center Brad Boyes, left wing Mason Raymond and right wing Teemu Selanne as his starting forward line.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like an expansion team lineup. Of those listed by Fitzergerald, Selanne will either sign with the Ducks or retire, and is expected to reach a decision this coming week. The main reason many of these players remain unsigned is the significant decline in the salary cap. As Allen noted, most of those players on his list would’ve been re-signed by now. 

Bridge contract coming for Derek Stepan.

Bridge contract coming for Derek Stepan.

OTTAWA SUN: cited an interview with NY Rangers GM Glen Sather by the Edmonton radio station Team 1260, in which he stated his intent to re-sign RFA Derek Stepan to a short-term rather than a long-term deal.  Sather also admitted he received inquiries about big-bodied forward Brian Boyle, but intends to retain him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, Sather has a reputation for re-signing RFAs to “bridge contracts” (hello there, Michael Del Zotto), but he also re-signed Ryan McDonagh to a six-year, $28.2 million extension. Like Stepan, McDonagh was coming off an entry-level contract.

Stepan, meanwhile, finished fourth in team scoring twice and last season was the Rangers leading scorer, which likely has him thinking he’s earned a lucrative long-term deal. He’s got little leverage other than to threaten a contract holdout, a tactic which rarely works in today’s salary cap era, especially given the Rangers tight budget for the upcoming season. 

As for Boyle, no surprise teams are interested in him, likely due in part to the Blueshirts limited cap space

NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said he’s still working on getting RFA Adam Henrique re-signed before training camp opens next month. Lamoriello also doesn’t anticipate issuing any training camp invitations to UFAs.


  1. Thoughts on the sjsharks? Thornton in particular….I believe he waits until feb/march to make a decision on re signing. Personally I don’t think the team will be in a position to win a cup and he decides to move. Imagine the damage he could do with an established goal scorer, not a player he has turned into one…(Murray, Cheech, etc)

    • Him and Kessel could be magic

    • As a Sharks fan, I think Thorton is not the only one thinking about what to do at the trade deadlline. Thorton’s value is still good, as he would make an excellent second-line center for someone, provided they could offer up the right young assets for his services. Noting their tendencies to go for older players, at times, and their abundance of good, young players, I would say that either Detroit or New York might be a consideration for Thorton. I think he would fit good in Toronto, but do they have the assets on wing to obtain him?

      • I like Joe and I look at him more as a playmaker than a pure goal scorer. There is something about Joe where he just can’t get his team over the final hump. I don’t know what it is, but I do know there are games where I say to myself…..I didn’t know Joe was even in the game.

        Thing with the Sharks is that they have Marleau, Thornton, Havlat, Boyle, Stuart and Hannen > 30 and while they did get rid of Murray and picked up Torres and Kennedy – it makes me wonder if it is enough. It will be interesting to see how Kennedy pans out with the Sharks

      • Not that I doubt they would part with on wing, I imagine the only thing that would fit would be JVR along with another piece at least. Levio could be good but he is aways away yet. Young D on the other hand (I know the Sharks have a couple coming…)

      • I think the Rangers would try hard to get Thornton. Thornton and Nash have been incredibly effective internationally.

  2. Sean Fitzgeralds starting line up is better then the Flames

  3. A couple of decent players there.. especially young Brunner. To bad the Sens have an Owner who has limited funds — this guy would look good in the top 6…

  4. Kadri for henrique.. Devils have more cap space as kadri will take more to resign and devils will be looking for more scoring after losing kovalchuck

    • No thanks gonna take more then that

      • This makes the Leafs better how?

        • Franson for Henrique we will talk lol

          • You think Kadri is better than Henrique?? But he’s equal to Franson???

            Wow, that seems a little lop sided in the Leafs favor. I think you may want to look at the stats of these guys again.
            Kadri and Henrique are pretty even, except that Henrique is more proven than Kadri with playoff experience.

          • I think Franson for Henrique is a little lopsided as well, I was just kinda hoping all the hype surrounding Franson would stir something up 1 for 1. Probably not a great deal….I do believe that Kadri has far more upside then Henrique tho even with Henrique having more experience I think the deal would have to involve more.

          • Im pretty sure most around here know how I feel about Franson belive me when I say I didnt mean to look like I was honestly over valuing him. 😉

        • Henrique is more of a two way forward.. Carlyle like defensive play so he will fit the style… IMO henrique doesn’t have to upside to be a point a game player as is what kadris camp is probably telling the leafs he ..

          • And it may not make them better… It doesn’t make them worse…. What it does as described in my first statement is helps both teams… Leafs can’t afford kadris cap hit right now… Probably 3 mill… Henrique will come in closer to 2 mill.. Devils lost kovalchuck so they will be looking for a play making scorer… Kadri

          • After seeing what Kadri is looking for…I take that back lol

          • Heres something Id think about tho Kadri and Franson and for Henrique and Fayne. Maybe a 2nd round pick or a mid level prospect something along those lines going to the Devils to balance it out.