NHL Morning Rumor Mill – December 31, 2013.

The latest on Wayne Simmonds, Nail Yakupov, Nazem Kadri, Michal Neuvirth and Jaromir Jagr, plus updates on the Penguins, Hurricanes and more.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: In response to questions from his readers, Jim Matheson doubts the Philadelphia Flyers will move Wayne Simmonds, who was linked to the Oilers Ales Hemsky back in November. He also claims Oilers GM Craig MacTavish intends to stick with sophomore winger Nail Yakupov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers like Simmonds’ size and physical skills as much as his scoring touch. He’s a prototypical Flyers forward. Yakupov is probably the Oilers best trade chip but they’re reluctant to part with him.

Are the Penguins eyeing Jets captain Andrew Ladd?

Are the Penguins eyeing Jets captain Andrew Ladd?

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless claims Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero seeks a replacement for injured winger Pascal Dupuis and is said to be interested in Jets’ forwards Andrew Ladd, Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler. Lawless believes Shero would have to put together a significant offer to pry one of those guys away from the Jets. The Penguins have depth in young defensemen but the Jets want to add forwards, not shed them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Jets wish to part with Ladd, Kane or Wheeler and doubt the Penguins can make a suitable offer for either guy. 

SPORTSNET’s Nick Kypreos reports the following via Twitter: “In wake of Carlyle rant this morning 2 clubs have confirmed for me have made Kadri available in any trade discussion.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs coach Randy Carlyle yesterday took Kadri’s line to task for not playing up to expectations and threatened to demote Kadri to the third line if things didn’t improve.  Kypreos is now the third pundit since Sunday to claim the Leafs are shopping Kadri. It’s also rumored the Leafs are willing to entertain offers for Jake Gardiner. Wonder if GM Dave Nonis would consider packaging Kadri and Gardiner? That would garner considerable interest.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports the Carolina Hurricanes recent trade of Kevin Westgarth to Calgary might not be the only move GM Jim Rutherford has in store for his struggling team. Moving one of his backup goalies (Justin Peters or Anton Khubodin) is a possibility. Rutherford also noted the salary cap system is making it tough to find a trade partner and a deal to help his club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford was also believed shopping Tim Gleason, Tuomo Ruutu and Jiri Tlusty.  A suitable shakeup deal, however, might not come until closer to the March trade deadline, which will be too late to help the Hurricanes.

CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley reports the agent for Capitals backup goalie Michal Neuvirth would like to see his client traded to a team where he’ll get more playing time. Neuvirth has played in only seven games this season and has been knocked down in the goalie pecking order by the solid play of Philipp Grubauer, who was called up to replace Neuvirth when he was sidelined recently by an injury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Neuvirth joins Martin Erat among the Capitals who have requested a trade. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov was another but he’s reconsidered since receiving more playing time.

NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Jaromir Jagr won’t ask the Devils to be moved by the trade deadline. Jagr expects a better second half for he and his team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr lacks a no-trade clause so the Devils could trade him if they wish without his permission. Considering his strong play this season, that’s not likely to happen.

TORONTO SUN: Former Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov would love to return with the Leafs. He’s currently playing in the KHL but hopes the Leafs will sign him to another contract. They own his rights until July, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.


  1. @ alforducks
    I’m wondering what you think of this whole Carlyle Kadri thing after witnessing a similar event between Carlyle and Lupul in Anaheim. When Carlyle has a hate on for a guy he sure has no idea how to motivate. Looks like Nonis is willing to blow out anyone that Carlyle can’t seem to teach, mentor or motivate no matter who they are.

    • I would say you have never coached by that statement.
      Well I have and trust me blaming the coach for certain players is a joke and especially at the pro level.
      They are at the top of the hockey chain making millions and they need to be motivated?

      The fact is there are coachable players and team players and there are players that play when they feel like it and think they know it all.

      Once a player has a couple of years in the inexperience card has been played and he is now a coachable team guy or a selfish guy that plays only when in the mood.

      I like Kadri’s game when he wants to play and he stinks when he is not in the mood and for that he will expect a big pay raise and special treatment,get rid of him.

      Gardner is different as he has the talent but lacked experience as college is not JR. hockey.
      He sometimes tries too hard and sometimes shows lack of confidence but appears to be improving as the year goes on,he is a team player and a keeper.

      Yakupov is starting to look like a me guy like kadri too and I think his Oiler days are numbered.

      There are lots of NHL players like that now and it may be a generation thing but teams are no longer giving unlimited chances and much less time before cutting bait.

      • Peter
        Really?? Your saying Carlyle isn’t paid millions to motivate? I imagine your coaching resume probably consists of coaching 5 year olds so it doesn’t really qualify you as an expert on the subject of what an NHL coach should be responsible for. LMAO, Nice try though.

        • Leafs24/7 I have forgotten more about hockey then you will ever learn in your lifetime.

          I have seen many of your comments before and what you know would fit in a thimble.

          Go back to your xbox kid,that is where you belong.

          • and you stick with your flock of sheep mentality. We all know what happens to sheep.

        • Of course coaches are paid to motivate their players. This is one way that Carlyle motivates – he calls players out and either sits them or moves them down in the lineup. Kadri needs to man up and play his guts out.
          Could I just add how happy I am to see Tyler Bozak back? OK, he’s not a threat to make the Olympic team but he’s a solid centre who plays smart hockey. Hope he stays healthy.

      • Hey Peter, I agree that some players are more me first but coaches also need to understand that it sometimes takes a different approach to get the most out of their charges. There has been some work done on situational leadership by Ken Blanchard that suggests different approaches will have better results with different folks. Not gospel but definitely the right idea.

        I agree that these guys shouldn’t need to be motivated but they clearly do need to be. Carlyle seems like he’s a hammer and every problem is a nail kinda guy. His approach no doubt works very well with some (he’s at the top of his profession as well). We are seeing more athletes come up now though who don’t respond as well to the hell and brimstone rant. When I played Junior I had coaches who were yellers and others who weren’t. I can tell you that I learned a lot from some and tuned others out.

    • Leafs24/7
      While I have a lot of respect for Caryle (after all he did bring a cup to Anaheim),
      I really questioned the Leafs hiring him. He is brutal on young players.
      It’s not just Lupul he ran out of town but he also screwed over Bobby Ryan.
      He just does not have any patience with young players. The other point I
      dislike about Caryle is that he has a system and never seems to take into
      account if the players he has fit the system. It’s all fine and dandy if you have
      Chris Pronger and Shaun Thornton and want to be the dirty Ducks but when
      they move on and it’s Can Fowler and Bobby Ryan types, the systems fails.
      All I can is this, the last two years that Caryle was here the Ducks were horrible
      and just about played dead. Since Caryle left, with most of the same roster,
      they have worked hard and played well. This opinion and $ 1.00 will get you
      a cup of coffee. Have a very safe new year.

      • While it is obvious that the coach’s job is to motivate players, it is also obvious that guys getting millions to play hockey have a job to be motivated as well.

        The coach is not always the problem, but I tend to agree that in this case it may be. Now I watch the Leafs, but am not a fan. (I am, but I root for the Sabres first, cue the laugh track) Caryle seems to be getting more from this team, but his methods seem to be wearing off. There must be a problem when you allow so many shot per game. Only great goal tending is saving them from being right next to the Sabres.
        I may be crazy, but the system seems flawed.

        • As an isles fan you have my empathy :) I actually quite like Nolan, he has seemed to get a lot out of his teams in the past. Perhaps your team is headed in the right direction.

      • Alforducks
        Figured as much and agree whole heartily.

  2. Ooops I should have started off with “Happy New Year” to everyone even Mr. Negative (Ron). My bad. LOL

  3. I can’t say as I am entirely surprised by Randy’s rant, Kadri was a disappointment on the first line largely due to his 30% Face Off win and mindless play. Holland on the other hand was all hustle at both ends and boasted a 50%+ in the Face Off circle. If packaging Kadri and Gardner get the Leafs the top centre they want, then as a coach I am certain Randy fells Holland can fill any voids injuries may present next season at far less drama and dollars. Realistically, Ron Wilson was right when he said Kadri would never be a centre in the NHL but would be a terrific winger, despite Don Cherry’s slobberings.

    • Don’t you agree the proper way to handle Kadri would be to defend him to the press and call him out in private instead of airing you dirty laundry in public as if you are trying to get fans on your side like an unprofessional coach would do?

      • With most players I would agree but I think Randy is taking a page out of Dallas’ coaching book and doing it publicly, it is the only thing that seems to work with Kadri. Hopefully, it works as he is a very talented young man but I don’t think he is a centreman in this league and the Leaf’s don’t need another right winger. I can see him doing well in New York and J.T. Miller is in the dog house there (along with a few others) so perhaps a change of scenery is in order.

        • That would be fine if he wasn’t put on the trade block an hour after Randy basically said he’s garbage. Got to figure Nonis and Carlyle don’t see eye to eye since Carlyle just made Dave’s job ten times harder to move Kadri.

          • I don’t think Randy said anything that any other team’s management were not already aware of as Kadri’s performance this season is public record. All he did was formally put the “For Sale” sign around his neck and you would have to have been living under a rock not to seen that one coming. As for affecting Nonis ability to move him, for value that remains to be seen. It is not like Kadri is worthless, it is just that he can be so much better, that is the frustrating part for Randy.

  4. I honestly don’t get the Gardiner trade rumors. Carlyle has him playing the minutes of a #2-3 defenceman right now, so moving him seems like a move in the direction of a rebuild since defence has been their primary issue.

    If the Leafs move a package of Kadri/Gardiner, this will be one very frustrated fan.

    • just imagine what kadri/gardiner can bring in a trade.

      • They both suck, right? I mean one guy is small, selfish, lazy, can’t play center while the other guy can skate but a defenseman no way! Oppps I mean, NO WAY!!!!!
        You need to package them together and maybe you can get a Dustin Penner type player the team so desperately needs.

        • you need to move away from the radiator.

    • The Leaf’s need a #1 centre, it is becoming obvious that Kadri is never going to become that guy. Their other prospect, Gauthier is a two way centreman best suited for a second line role and is years away from the NHL, so with no other options Nonis will have to trade to get a #1. Unfortunately, the cost is steep in that it will probably take a Kadri/Gardiner package to seal the deal. The upside is a legitimate top six, if not great top nine. Plus you still have Phaneuf, Franson, Ranger and Riley who can score from your back end plus up and coming talent like Percy and Finn.

  5. Any off those 3 Jets players would look great in a penguins jersey. Ladd or Wheeler would bring size, and Kane would be a perfect fit. Also hearing rumors of a Letang for Eberle trade

    • I am thinking that the cost to bring in Ladd would be big.
      Not sure Pens can afford to let go of Letang as he IS the offense on the
      back line. How many scoring forwarders do the Pens need ?
      Are they trying to re-invent the 1980’s Edmonton Oilers

      • THE PENS CAN AFFORD TO LET GO OF LETANG as we still have Martin and Maatta and Niskanen and Despres and a couple of other guys coming up so Letang is very expendable. Hope the penguins can pull off the trade that would be incredible

  6. Re: Goalies
    Hasn’t the ship sailed on goalie movement ? During the summer Ducks tried to move Hiller.
    Then early this season Buffalo tried to move Miller. Now all of a sudden a whole bunch of new
    young guys have come on and had great starts as in Anderson in Anaheim, Jones in LA,
    Grubauer in Washington, Peters in Carolina, Talbot in New York and I am sure I missed a few.
    You have two potential starters in Toronto, etc. Why would anyone pay an arm and a leg for
    a goalie ?

    • Add Nieuverth to that list…his agent is squaking.

    • Bad time to try and move any of these guys.

    • The problem is most GMs are scared to make a move ……even if it does improve the team …its like admitting you made a mistake to begin with and causes turmoil…however its really the opposite a team needs to be built during the season just as much as in the offseason especially a struggling team the right deal can do magic for a mediocre team asking for change …the problem is most GMs want something for nothing and never like to make the deal in broad day light but in the off season when they can work in the shadows of the media and not be as scrutinized ….which is a GM with no balls and that translates down to the team to play with no balls hence a terrible record ….most GMs are not as a hands on with the players as they should be and take to many opinions from other staffers when they really know what needs to be done.

    • Well look at how little teams got for moving goalies recently. Vancouver got a #9 pick for Schneider, LA got scraps for Bernier, and Ott got an undersized forward for Bishop. Not sure why they seem so undervalued right now, particularly when some teams are desperate to find a solid one (Isles, Oilers, Flames etc).

  7. oh i wish one of the 3 jets want to the Pens!!!! would be sweet! but the Price would be pretty high! i just hope its not a rental player! Go Canada Go! and Go Pens Go! Happy New year!

  8. here we go again media thinks they know every thing about toronto but we don’t here anything from nonis

  9. wow. I wish I had the inside scoop you guys have. it must be awesome to know how Carlyle treats his players on a day-to-day basis.

    or are you just jumping on hearsay and mass media rumblings?

    I thought so. leave the coaching decisions to the professionals, and read kyper’s and others’ comments with a little objectivity. this is the pros. kadri will either step up his game or get what he deserves. he’s a pro. time to play like one, here or elsewhere.

  10. Leafs fans…..perhaps you can answer this: Now, as a Canucks fan living in Montreal, I am not predisposed to watching the Leafs. But I do see the occasional game. Why did the Leafs let go of guys like Komarov and Kostka, who to me, seemed like great depth guys at a dirt cheap price for you? Any thoughts?

    • cap room, and similar players already in the system.

      warning. someone will post that it’s because Carlyle hates them. disregard those silly comments.

      • Komarov wants to come back to the Leafs. I’d like to see that happen. One player that never needed anyone to motivate him. Maybe his time in the Finnish military was formative, but this guy did the dirty work every night.

        • Hear, hear!

    • Komarov wanted a big raise and wasn’t worth it. Kosta? well the Leafs have plenty of Kosta’s.

    • KHL offered Leo more money plus he wanted to play there on a top line in hopes to make an impression for the Olympics. Kostka looked good but wasn’t all that good stats wise. The Leafs have cheaper and better options for a 7-8th dman.

  11. Tlusty to the Pens seems like a good fit to me.

    – Replaces Dupuis at RW
    – Cap hit is much less than Dupuis’, so could be comfortably absorbed under the cap
    – Tlusty is a UFA, so once Dupuis is ready to return, Tlusty doesn’t need to be re-signed
    – Would probably cost next to nothing in a trade, as the Canes just want a salary dump

    Yes, he’s having a horrible season, but had a good one last year. Would seem like a low-risk, high-reward trade for the Pens. And if they did it now, they’d still have 15+ games to judge Tlusty’s performance and see if they need to make another one, too.

    Tlusty to the Pens for a 3rd-rounder? Lower?

    • What about Moulson?

      • Better fit, but have to give up more and work a little harder to make the cap numbers work. Higher risk, higher reward. Tlusty just seemed so easy for the Pens, and face it, anyone will score 30 on Sid’s wing!

      • Jes, Moulson would be a perfit fit for the Pens replacing Dupuis – thing is, it would depend on what they offered. I’m selfish because I want Moulson to resign with the Sabres, but I would also like him to have an opportunity to “win the cup” since he would be in rebuild mode with Buffalo.

        At this point I would keep Miller and possibly look for a trade for Enroth. I just don’t think he is the answer and Bflo might get something for him.

  12. Happy New Year’s guys and gals especially Spec for putting together the best go to trade rumor site out there….

  13. Kadri has never been treated well by the leafs. They should trade him to the Bruins for Caron . I think Julien would be a good coach to teach him

  14. Gardner, Kadri and Reimer for Traveres sounds like a good move for both teams.

    • HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, oh god, thanks I needed that laugh.

  15. I personally like Kadri but Holland has proved to be a better second line center then Kadri. Bozak is great when healthy and with Bolland coming back and McClement for fourth line and PK duties I would look to package Kadri, and Gardiner for a 2-3 shut down defenseman.

    Komarov is a huge spark plug and is sorely missed this year but he choose at the end of the year to bolt to KHL instead of trying to get resigned as a RFA. I don’t think we want a guy who chooses himself over the team even thought he is great at what he does.

    • Not so fast on Holland – let’s see how he plays down the stretch – and I really hope that Komarov comes back.

    • You guys realize Bolland has played alot of wing as has Kadri right? Not an absolute that we need to move Kadri because of too many centers…a no. 1 center is needed but thats really the only reason Id ever consider giving up Kadri. If the Leafs cant use him in a package to get a no. 1 guy or if anotber deal could land a no. 1 guy use Kadri in a package to get another good D man then he isnt going anywhere. There is still a huge need for a center like him on the Leafs he is not getting traded because Randy yelled at him. Bozak Kadri Bolland Holland McClement is still not exactly a team thats deep with good centers. Its a team thats got options for 2nd and third liners but thats about it. Kadri is very young and very talented no matter what Randys opinion of him is unless a big ticket item comes (which I doubt it will) I cant see Kadri moving.

  16. All of Leafs Nation would welcome Komarov back with open arms. As for his departure to the K, it wasn’t because he wanted a raise, didn’t get it, so he left. It was because he needed to be closer to home for family reasons. Say goodbye to Orr and some other small cap hit players, and Komarov will be back and with a raise. I think he’ll get $1.5M per.