NHL Morning Rumor Mill – December 4, 2013.

The latest on Dmitry Kulikov, the Sharks top UFAs, Martin Erat, Steve Mason, David Legwand, Jamie McGinn and more.

Dmitry Kulikov is a hot topic in the NHL rumor mill.

Dmitry Kulikov is a hot topic in the NHL rumor mill.

TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie claims the Panthers are aggressively shopping defenseman Dmitry Kulikov hoping to get a bidding war going for his services. Two knocks against Kulikov is his slow development and his RFA status with arbitration rights at season’s end and there’s a fear he could head to the KHL. McKenzie also noted Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford’s patience is being tested by his underachieving team. Predators center David Legwand (a UFA next summer) is seeking a new deal but no contract talks so far…Darren Dreger reports the Islanders, Canucks and Oilers are believed among the most active in trade discussions. The Isles seek depth in goal and a defenseman, the Canucks had interest in the Capitals’ Martin Erat but they aren’t a fit. He claims the Canucks still seek a top-six forward. The Oilers continue to seek a defenseman.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the Sharks front office is looking forward to next week’s NHL Board of Governors meeting as that’s when they’ll have a clearer idea of what next season’s salary cap could be. That’s crucial for the Sharks, who have had ongoing contract talks with pending UFAs Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle. All three want to stay and the Sharks want to keep them…The Canucks and Senators passed on Washington’s Martin Erat…A source claims the Avalanche are shopping winger Jamie McGinn for a defenseman or checking forward…In addition to shopping Kulikov, the Panthers are also believed willing to move some of their veterans forwards, like Tomas Fleischmann and Scottie Upshall.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers last week denied actively shopping Kulikov but that may have changed since then, especially if they’re getting offers from several teams. While his RFA status next summer may be a concern, I believe there’s an NHL GM willing to gamble on him…I daresay the Predators are awaiting word of what next season’s cap numbers will be before opening talks with Legwand…Given Erat’s declining production and $4.5 million cap hit, why would anyone want this guy?…Nothing really new about the Isles, Canucks and Oilers. The reason we keep hearing so much about them is because there’s not much available in the trade market to address their respective needs right now…Regardless of the cap number for next season, I believe the Sharks will definitely re-sign Thornton and Marleau. Boyle could be the odd man out if the numbers get tight…McGinn’s an affordable option for clubs seeking forward depth, like the Canucks.

CBC.CA: Elliiotte Friedman believes the Phoenix Coyotes tried to trade Rostislav Klesla, but the large number of teams close to the cap meant they had little choice but to demote him. He feels Klesla is still trying to regain his form after taking a big hit from the Kings Jordan Nolan during the pre-season.

SUNSENTINEL.COM/NBC SPORTS: Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was a healthy scratch during their game last night against the Ottawa Senators, stoking speculation he could be traded soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers scratched him because of his recent poor play, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from anticipating a trade soon.

PHILLY.COM: Goaltender Steve Mason (a UFA next summer) hopes to re-sign with the Flyers, who also want to keep him. GM Paul Holmgren intends to speak with Mason’s agent “at some point”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mason’s among the league leaders in goals-against average and save percentage, as well as the main reason the Flyers have overcome a horrible start to get within striking distance of a playoff berth. If he continues his strong play throughout the season, the Flyers will definitely re-sign him. They won’t spend as much as they did for Ilya Bryzgalov, but I could see him getting a long-term deal worth over $5 million per season.

ESPN.COM’s Craig Custance reported via Twitter Hurricanes backup Anton Khudobin is travelling with the club, adding he and Justin Peters are attracting some trade interest.


  1. Go a head Nonis shuffle the deck some more Kulikov for Gardiner seems like a bright idea that should solve all the Leafs problems. *sarcasm*

    • God I want nothing to do with a guy who is an arbitration rights RFA and who can threaten the KHL as a way to ratchet up his bargaining power. I don’t even want to comment on what I think he’s worth because it will only upset Panther fans

      • Kulikov is not what we need.
        I would be interested in a Kulemin for McGinn deal.
        I like Kulemin but the Leafs need a shake up without trading the whole team.
        This also saves the Leafs some salary.
        Guys like Erat and Klesla wont go until the trade deadline when most of their salary has been paid for this year.

        • Don’t watch Leafs games unless it’s vs Sabres, but are you guys in need of a player like Steve Ott?

          • Yes but we can’t afford his salary. You would have to retain most of it if that’s even possible.

        • Exactly right. I enjoy mcginn a lot. I think something there could work

      • Leafs 24/7 you couldn’t be more right. All that higher hopes on Kulikov is hopes he lives up to his potential. Sadly thus far he hasn’t lived up to expectations. Whoever gets him will get him at a bargain price. I don’t think this whole bidding war thing will work but who knows Sabres did get a first rounder for Gaustad a couple years ago lol.

    • Umm, again with the Leafs…

      no where does it mention the leafs in this article.

      No where does it say the Leafs are getting Kulikov.

      Yet Leaf fans automatically think they are in on an available player, just because they are the leafs.

      Who says that the Panthers would want Gardiner?

      Maybe they value Kulikov more than Gardiner.

      Makes me sick.

      How about Kulikov to the Avs for Mcginn?

      • Did nobody notice the “sarcasm” part in the initial post? Simmer down haters…

  2. Healthy and playing stretches like he did last year teams that are looking for goaltending should be looking at Kuhdobin…be a great fit in Nashville I think. Small 1 year deal 800k fill in for Renne.

    • How about Edmonton? Duby crapped the bed again last night. He is done in the NHL the way he is playing this year. The Oil need a better back up for Bryz

    • Ive been talking about how good Kuhdobin is since last UFA season and that he was the best Goalie on the market …I have a feeling him and another piece go to the Islanders !!!!
      I have a great 3 way trade scenario but I dont feel like getting ripped today ! Hungover !

      At this point you can say all you want about RFA – KHL status the glaring issue is anything mat be better than 5 of the Lerafs D men right now and will be a significant upgrade …its just down right emabarressing right now on the back end

      NONIS SHOULD BE EMBARRESSED on his and Carlyles decisions to keep it this long !!

      As Ive reported last year on the WHY you trade Gardiner last year and as Ive been saying all along is that as time went by his trade value would PLUMMET as his D side of the game got exposed …and wellllll…..hes nopt worth a second rounder at this point!
      As a GM you have to know when the value is at the highest and when to pull the trigger to upgrade …its not like us talking in here about this and that …..and your crazy to trade that guy or that guy isnt worth that and people over value …GMs need to make deals when they have the power on there side and that boat is sailed on Gardiner for Nonis …..Leafs need at least 4 D men to compete in the NHL for the rest of the season !

      may not resign Mason ….as this offseason may bring a few UFA goalies that they may want to take out to dinner however …Mason has not allowed more than 3 goals a game since putting on a Flyer jersey …THATS IMPRESSIVE …Offensive stars on Flyers are not producing !

      Too many teams in on him right now …driving up the price ….if I had my bet its to Ottawa for Zibinejad……he will be a clutch scorer !!! May be a multi player deal as Ottawat could use some of the Panthers veteran guys as well as they look flat !

      @ LEAFS 24 / 7
      I posted yestarday the Oilers will not resign him and if they can get hiom out they will however they should look at Kuhdobin and just take it on the chin and trade a significant player to get a REAL GOOD Goalie !

      • BC
        No worries buddy I remember your posts.

      • Why in the hell would the Flyers not sign Mason?

        You smoking crack again?

        Mason is on a “show me what you have contract”

        He is showing his rookie year was no fluke, and he just needed a change in scenery.

        The bigger question for the Flyers is will they keep Emery? or will he bolt for a chance as a starter?Who do they replace Emery with?

        The Flyers are not letting Mason walk.

        • @ Gary …..

          Just a gut feeling that they might look harder at guys like …Miller ….Hiller and so forth if given the chance !!

          Mason has been god ..BUT Flyers seem to have a history of this thats all !!

          • just a gut feeling….translation no basis in fact

            why would they look at anyone like Miller or Hiller?

            Mason is better then either of those guys and is a RFA next summer. but they won’t even get there because he’ll be re-signed before the playoffs. Holmgren likes to re-sign guys early so as to take the contract status off their minds so they can focus on hockey….examples Giroux, Grossmann, Couturier, Read and all the long-term deals that he’s done

            Mason will be re-signed before the end of January 2014

  3. I laugh at the “Edmonton still looking for a D man……Oilers Choose Yak’s instead of Murray in the 2012 draft. Bad move and will haunt this team. 3 #1 picks and went all out for offence and left the defence on the back burner…..empty and not a clue what they are doing. OH…they trade the best shot blocker in the league away as well. Bee donk a’ donk

    • Agreed. Tough to watch the guys in the Oil front office make their decisions sometimes

    • Yakupov and 1st to Buffalo for Meyers and Ott

      • Meyers has responded well to Nolan’s coaching and bringing Tallinder back. It just seems like maybe he was trying to do too much and getting out of his game. He’s a big boy and should use that to his advantage. He’s playing more aggressively, but the team is also being more aware of when he goes into the offensive zone. What might be a better deal is trading Grigorenko/Enroth for Yukupov/Khaira and a #1. Essentially Buffalo would be swapping one problem child for another – although I think Yukupov would respond better with Nolan.

  4. Lyle, what is Florida asking for Kulikov? Is there a ground floor combo of player(s) and/or pick(s) the Panthers are seeking?

    • I bet Florida would strongly consider McGinn+Elliot

    • No word, but I assume they’ll want a promising young player as part of the return.

  5. Kulikov is a solid d-man. He is a bit injury prone too, though, and this year things are just a mess for everyone on the Panthers.

    He is still 23.

    I think that he would develop very well, but the Panthers have young d-men soon to be ready for NHL action and they would probably much rather spend Kulikov’s salary on offense and forwards.

    Not sure why Toronto would want him, though, even if they have a bunch of d-men becoming UFAs. I think the Oilers, Montreal, Columbus, and Isle’s will be interested in Kulikov.

    • Oilers, yes. Jackets, no! Columbus wants a forward who can score.

    • Everyone should give up on Kulikov, just like they did with Chara……

    • Micki, Why would the Jackets want yet another young d-man? We need to get rid of a couple veteran d-men to make room and you think we’d want another youngster to spend time in Springfield?

  6. I could see McGinn for Brad Richardson straight up.

    • Canucks are shallow at center, no way they trade Richardson. Besides, Avalanche are looking for a dman and Canucks have several ‘McGinn-like’ players (Hanson, Higgins, Burrows). They need Booth to produce like a 2nd liner and a legit top 6 guy like Moulson, Cammilari, E.Kane, etc. none of whom they can realistically obtain or fit under their cap.
      So …. go Booth go?!

      • Yeah, no way. Richardson’s having a great season so far and like Ace said, the Canucks are shallow at center – they already having Santorelli filling in (admirably) at 3C.

        McGinn, not so much. I have no idea why anyone would make that trade. He’s overpaid at that cap hit, too (and 600k more than Richardson!)

  7. Always said Mason needs a new change of scenery and the Flyers should stick with what is working for them and not change it up in the net … not changing it up constantly is something the Flyers need to practice.

    If I am the Hurricanes I am keeping and making sure I have both Khuobdin (sp) and Peters signed and move forward with them as your goaltending duo. Cam Ward brought you the cup but it is time to let him go, the Oilers and the Islanders would both like to get their hands on him I am sure.

  8. @ i hate Crosby….why not? The change would do Myers some good, and Ott upfront would be an effective addition of skilled grit. The downside though is it makes the rebuild for Buffalo a much longer one.

    @ Peterman…Richardson is the least of Vancouvers problems. 12 points in 30 games. Prorated against number of games that others have played he is still ahead of Jansen, Kassian, Burrows, Sestitio and Welsh


    Signs 7 year deal !…..$8.5 million per

    Deal will have to come soon for Rangers to move out guys …as they have LITERALLY half a team to resign next year !!

  10. Steve Mason is not unrestricted after this season–he’s restricted. (The column referenced was in error, and has been corrected.) The Flyers will certainly re-sign him, but–assuming he continues to perform at his current level–probably to a bridge deal such as 2 years at 3.5 million USD per.

    • This would be smart.

  11. I watched Mason in Nashiville and he looked really good then. I wondered what happened to him after that but it looks like he has found his game back. He has showing that he can be good at the NHL level before so I’m not surprised by his play.

    Marleau and Thorton will stay with the Sharks and take a discount to do it if needed. Can’t see them wanting to play else where.

    I don’t feel with the Sens cheap owner they will add any salary this season. I can see a dollar for dollar trade but thats it.

    • I doubt you watched Mason in Nashville, seeing that he played for Columbus… I used to love visiting this site and discussing the rumours, but man its got brutal… Its Myers, not Meyers, Its Yakupov, not Yukupov, and who is Khaira? Chara maybe? Lyle must bang his head on his desk everyday sifting through the comments looking for something relevant to answer. My appologies to those of you who actually have something intelligent to add. I’m all for freedom of speech, but know who you are talking about, and what team they played for before spouting off rumours about them or how you watched them play in cities they never played for.

      Great post as always Lyle, I’ll just skip reading the comments section from now on.

      • Is this Brian Burke posing as jumbo on this site? LOL