NHL Morning Rumor Mill – December 11, 2013.

Next season’s rising cap will have an effect upon the free agent market, plus the latest on Paul Stastny, Evander Kane, the Maple Leafs, Sabres and more.

TSN.CA: With the salary cap significantly rising next season and possibly reaching $100 million in a few years, Pierre LeBrun wondered if Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban accepts an eight-year deal or perhaps a shorter-term in hopes of cashing in for more down the road as an unrestricted free agent…With superstars like Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos coming to the end of their current deals within the next couple of years, Bob McKenzie wondered which ones could “break the bank” seeking an annual player maximum of between $12-$14 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting decision facing the Subban camp, as he would undoubtedly earn even more down the road if he were to sign a three – four year deal taking him into UFA eligibility…Stamkos could become the big earner  when he signs his next contract.

A big increase in the salary cap could keep Dion Phaneuf in Toronto.

A big increase in the salary cap could keep Dion Phaneuf in Toronto.

TORONTO STAR: Mark Zwolinski reports the salary cap rising to $71 million next season increases the likelihood of Dion Phaneuf signing an extension with the Maple Leafs.  Other Leafs due for new contracts include James Reimer, Nikolai Kulemin, Jay McClement, Mason Raymond and Trevor Smith.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: The extra $7 million of cap space next season almost certainly means Phaneuf gets re-signed.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ed Willes believes the bloom may be off the rose between Evander Kane and the Winnipeg Jets, believing the club is viewing Kane as more trouble than he’s worth. Willes then seemed to suggest the Canucks should try to acquire Kane, a Vancouver native.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I still believe talk of the Jets growing disenchanted with Kane is overblown.  He’s only 22 and a promising talent.  Trading him now could backfire on the Jets While there could be tension between Kane and coach Claude Noel, I don’t believe it’s reached the point where Kane must be moved.

DENVER POST: Yet another report speculating over Paul Stastny’s future with the Colorado Avalanche and if he could be moved at the trade deadline. Adrian Dater says he’s been told the Montreal Canadiens are scouting Stastny, while the Toronto Maple Leafs also need a center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pierre LeBrun recently reported a Canadiens source strongly denied they had interest in Stastny.  Expect the speculation over the Avs center to carry on up to the March 5 trade deadline.

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford wonders if NY Rangers coach Alain Vigneault is angling for a roster shakeup, noting his recent critical comments of Benoit Pouliot, Michael Del Zotto and the Rangers roster in general.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m sure GM Glen Sather would love to make a move to shake things up, but with 23 NHL teams carrying an average of $5 million or less in cap space, there’s not a lot of willing trade partners making decent offers right now. Vigneault could be stuck with his current lineup for a while.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Bucky Gleason believes Sabres under-achieving, overpaid winger Ville Leino will be gone before next season. Gleason also speculates pending UFAs Steve Ott and Matt Moulson could be shopped.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: They’ll have to use a compliance buyout to dump Leino because there’s no one out there who’ll take his $4.5 million per season salary off their hands. I expect Ott and Moulson get shopped by the March trade deadline.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports a source claims Islanders management don’t perceive coach Jack Capuano as the factor behind their struggles this season, and won’t be fired anytime soon.


  1. Most of that extra cap will be eaten up between Reimer, Phaneuf, Bolland, Gardiner and Franson. The way Nonis bargains with UFA’s and RFA’s with arbitration rights the Leafs will be up against the cap again next year even at the new $71M. Dave has shown he isn’t good at bargaining when it comes to players who have some sort of leverage.

    • Gardiner or Franson…Im betting its one or the other, Reimer Im not so sure hes back. They will need cap space to address some needs. D and center. Really Dave did a good job with Franson and Kadri. His player selection with Clarkson and Bozak those contracts look pretty bad, Bolland Raymond Kadri and Franson contracts are among the good things Nonis has managed to do.

      • Nonis’s record of trades is good so far and his bargaining with RFA’s with no arbitration rights was also hard core but let’s not forget these are not the hard contracts to deal with. The players with some sort of leverage like arbitration rights or UFA status Dave has proven to be a real softy and not much a negotiator. Kessel got what he was asking for and I suspect Phaneuf will too. So get use to our new $7.5 to $8 million dollar D man for the next seven years.
        You are probably right both Reimer and Gardiner or Franson will be gone in a trade so lets hope what ever comes back in return is locked up for the next four years or is an RFA with no rights. Should Franson and Remier not be moved they will have leverage this summer and Dave will be in the hot seat

        • Sorry forgot to mention Raymond. He had no interested takers much like Ranger so had no leverage. That was an easy signing for Dave since they were happy to get any contract to keep playing. Dave will have to anti up for Raymond this summer if he wants him back.

      • Will give you the Clarkson was not a good contract but if we had let him go- we would be screaming he is the player we need. The Bozak signing had value and he brings mre to the table than Kadri ever will…

        • Pardon? Bozak at $4.25M for 4 years brings more then Kadri at $2.9M for 2 years? Seriously?

        • Could have had Boyd Gordon essentially the same type player for 3 mill. Bozak is not worth 4 mill plus. I understand the argument that this perhaps softens up Kessels deal but I dont think thats true.

      • I have a feeling that Reimer will take one for the team to stay in Toronto if Nonis will allow it which I believe they should ..They have Bernier for the next 2 years locked in and if they can sign James at $4 mill a year for 4 years it gives them 2- 3 years to make a longer term decision….I think they should keep both combined would be around what Lundqvist just signed for for at least 3 years !

        Gardiner will be gone before Christmas …..Leafs need bigger D who can skate and take the body !

        I think Phaneuf lands in LA to play for Sutter and with Regher …coming back will be Toffoli and a 1 A B Defender and prospect.

        Leafs will sign Franson & Bolland but Kadri could be trade bait to upgrade in size in the middle !

        This club has no balls ….with at least 3 real good coaches out there a change would be in the best interest of the long term needs of the team and TAVARES where there is no support for him.
        I can’t believe Tavares wants to play there ??? WHAT A WASTE !!!

        With O Reilly…. McKinnon …..Stastny and Duchene they have to make a move …Stastny is on his way out …IMO

        • No way in HELL the Kings give up Toffoli for Phaneuf, let alone giving up a prospect and dman on top of it. We don`t need Phaneuf and his $7-8 mill contract, he is worth 6 mill tops. We have one of the best d cores in the league, don`t need or want him. Toffoli is a budding sniper who will be a Rookie of the year nominy and potential winner. The kid is awesome, no way we give him up and more for a overrated d man who is a UFA.

          • There is a rumour out there ???

          • Agreed Toffoli will be a top six player , Kings won’t be eager to move him

        • No way in hell we give up Toffoli and a D-Man and a prospect for a rental.

          First, the Kings would be absolutely stupid to trade all that and let’s say in pretend land that they sign Phaneuf to a long term deal, he will be the most expensive 2nd line D in the league.

          Phaneuf is not 1st line material, sorry. Maybe on some of the crappier D teams like Anaheim, but definitely not the Kings.

          These “rumors” you are hearing (as I’ve read) are dumb and I’m pretty positive not based on any fact whatsoever. Dean Lombardi is a smart GM, this trade would be stupid on a multitude of levels.

        • what about stastny and 1st to for for phaneuf and reimer?

          • How bout Stasny for Reimer Gardiner.

      • Sports radio in Edmonton has Reimer headed out west.

    • Nonis doesnt bargain well? Franson and Kadri, Fraser? who had leverage that got the better of Nonis….? If anything its been his strong suit

      • I will explain this to Sam because I believe everyone else understands the difference between leverage and no leverage except Sam.
        Franson and Kadri had NO leverage other then to sit out the season which means they had NOTHING. So please make comments that make sense. As far as Fraser well let’s just say he had arbitration rights but at the end of the day Nonis really didn’t care if Fraser was awarded something by a judge and he had to let him walk so I’d say that gave him no leverage either.

        • BC
          No way Reimer “takes one for the team” after the lack of faith the Leafs management have shown towards him. The Leafs have been trying to knock him down the depth chart for the past two years (without success). Reimers will want what is owed or goes to arbitration which means a big award the way he is playing. Nonis will most likely need to move him before this happens.

          • Absolutely not, he will want to be able to prove he is a number 1 type guy, I could see him signing for 3.5-4 mill but it will be a place where he can potentially be a number 1 guy not playing 60/40 or 50/50 at best.At some point he will want to make proven starter type money. I like them both alot and wish it were not so but either Reimer or Bernier will not be a Leaf next year. Im betting Reimer goes at the deadline.

          • From a Leaf point of view there are too many holes that need to be filled to keep 3-4 million bucks on the bench every night.

      • Clarkson Bozak Liles Komisarek…the guy who is responsible for contracts is the same that did these beauties. Claude Loiselle is the cap guy. As I said there have been some good things done on Daves watch, (Bolland Bernier Raymond Franson Kadri) but there have been some horrible contracts too Its not like Burke or Nonis are

        • …or were the only ones driving this bus. Not sure why my post ended like this but…

  2. I still can’t believe Leino is this bad. He was magical with the Flyers once upon a time.

    • I think his heart is still with the Flyers. When the Sabres visited Philadelphia last season, Leino went over to the Flyer locker room after the game to reconnect with his old buddies.

      He never wanted to play for the Sabres and obviously his heart is not in it.

    • Personally, I think Leino has been playing pretty well. In all honesty I haven’t been able to catch as many Sabres games as I have in the past, but I thought he was very involved in the games that I did see. I know Nolan’s philosophy is work hard and he expects that everytime a player is on the ice albeit a game or practice. Perhaps sitting Leino for a game or so because he did not practice hard is a message that Leino and other players need to receive. I really like that Nolan has elevated Girgensens ice time because he is the future of the club and will be the Captain.

  3. To be honest I’d fire Noel before trading Kane.

    • Yep…

      • Agreed

  4. Rangers need to shake things up. This is unacceptable. These players whined about Torts and got him out (i don’t buy it that the players had nothing to do with it), and they get a new coach who is one of the smartest coaches in the NHL, more of an easy going approach and this is what they show?

    Time to clean up. Del Zotto, Pouliot, Boyle… send a message.

    • @ Micki

      As a Leafs fan I will take Girardi and Boyle ..if there is a deal to be made ! 100%

  5. Cap may go to $ 100 million in a few years ?
    Someone help me, didn’t they lock out the players to hold down future costs ?
    Do these smucks have any idea what they are doing ?
    Tampa may have up to 71 Million to spend and perhaps Stamkos may get a biggie contract
    but 12-14 million ? They do not have a big TV contract, nor do I doubt that ticket prices
    are in the NYR or Philly or Maple Leaf range.
    Being allowed to spend 70 million doesn’t mean they will.

    • No worries the 3 teams you mentioned will end up fronting most of the cash for all these massive contracts in the coming years as the cap climbs and climbs. Yikes.

  6. Pie in the sky scenario but if Nashville falls to the bottom of the playoff race I would love to see Legwand and Weber to Toronto with Gardiner, Bozak, a first round pick in 2014 and 3rd rounder in 2015 plus some cap filler (Kulemin and/or Lilles maybe) going to Nashville.

    Not a glamorous C trio in Toronto but Legwand, Kadri and Bolland would actually be a great top 3 Cs for a playoff run.

    • EJH
      You’re going to get roasted for this trade scenario by non Leaf fans. lol

    • Wow, Gardiner & Bozak & draft picks (plus some salaries you don’t want) and all you want back is Weber and Legwand! Leafs 24/7 was right, but you should get roasted by Leafs fans as well!!

      I’m sure Detroit would be more than happy to offer Brendan Smith & Stephan Weiss and some draft picks for Weber and Legwand, so long as they take Tootoo and Eaves off our hands as well. That’s a comparable trade to what EJH is offering…

      That better be some good sky pie!

    • or how about weber and hornquist for Liles and an old sock puppet.

      • Leaf fans probably think they get the short end of that deal.

      • Hahaha, ya thats more like it.

    • Wouldn’t trade that garbage for just Legwand.

      Who else you getting?

      Crosby and Malkin for lets say Franson, Raymond, and 2 7th round picks…

      Nashville didn’t take 4 firsts and save them selves over 30 million in bonuses when the contract was signed…why would they trade him now most of the front ended crap is paid?

      Please, just give your head a shake. This is in no way beneficial to the Preds.

    • Legwand, Hornqvist, Weber, and Klein for Bozak, Orr, Liles, and that sock puppet.

      • Done! :)

  7. Subban is going to make Bergevin pay dearly for not signing him long term during the last go around.

    • YEP!
      As he should ! …maybe he holds out again and hopes for a Weber type offersheet ….I think he might get it as the cap moves up it opens the wallets to make that happen next year as opposed to this year !!

      Possibility !!

      • Flyers will do it …we know that for sure !

    • Subban will get and deserves a nice raise but he better not get cocky , Habs brass call the shots.

      • Most teams would want him at 8.5mil/year, I don’t see why Habs brass would downplay how good he is just to save a few bucks.

      • Wrong. Subban and his agent call the shots now. The Habs had their chance last season to play hardball. A Norris Trophy later, Subban is the one calling the shots.

        • Yep if they dont open the vault for him, the arbitration meeting will, then there is the whole matter of him being a UFA in a year or 2, after that not to mention offer sheets. PK holds all the cards.

        • You don’t know much about the Habs history if you think a player and agent are going to muscle them . Tell me when this has been done before? You get out of line , you’re on your way out of town

          • Don’t be so naive. This isn’t the 1970s where players take what the Habs give ’em and smile. Subban and his agent are the ones in control here. It’s up to him to decide how many years he wants to commit to the Habs and for how much. His Norris trophy and rising value gives him that power. And let’s not forget that, with the cap rising by over $7 million next season, Subban could become a target for a big-ass offer sheet from a rival club if he’s still unsigned after July 5.

  8. The Rangers desperately need a change. Even dumping Del Zotto and Boyle, would be super. Boyle is an absolute shell of himself and needs to go. He doesn’t even play with passion–but, then again none of the Rangers do right now.

    • with stall out to concussion boyle, MDZ and some piece to TOR for phaneuf? we need a defenseman, and TOR may not want to make that investment but Rangers need D help now…

      • then of course TOR can flip MDZ or gardiner and a forward for a diff defenseman for that center they want.

      • A healthy scratch for a teams top D man? Even with another piece no.

  9. Oilers trade eberle+hemsky+omark+ smyth for simmonds+ luke schenn+ brayden schenn+ picks+ tye mcginn

    Trade yak for brouwer+alzner+pick from washington

    PLEASE Get a power forward or big defenceman, tough players needed, we need to play harder. Trade of gagner, hall, nuge, yak, or eberle

    and pitt should add more depth at forward position for defenceman