NHL Morning Rumor Mill – December 9, 2013.

Latest on Brad Richards, Milan Michalek, Michael Del Zotto, Steve Mason, Dmitry Kulikov and more.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson speculates the NY Rangers could use their remaining compliance buyout next June on Brad Richards to free up cap space to re-sign Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi…He believes the Ottawa Senators “will unload” struggling winger Milan Michalek…The Rangers are getting lots of calls about Michael Del Zotto, but they could retain him if Marc Staal (possible concussion) is sidelined for a lengthy period.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted yesterday, we can’t dismiss the possibility of the Rangers buying out Richards next June to free up cap space for other signings…If the Senators are still well out of playoff contention in another month or so they could turn from buyers into sellers, and Michalek (a UFA at season’s end) could be among those on the move…Staal’s injury could indeed have an effect upon Del Zotto’s trade status.

Steve Mason could get a big raise from the Flyers.

Steve Mason could get a big raise from the Flyers.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Pannacio reports the Philadelphia Flyers want to re-sign goalie Steve Mason, who’s an RFA at season’s end and currently on a one-year, $1.5 million deal. His agent suggests Montreal Canadiens Carey Price’s contract (six-year, $39 million) is a good comparable. Panaccio doubts Mason gets that much but believes he’ll get at least $4 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That would show considerable restraint on the part of Flyers management, who have a habit of re-signing key players to expensive, long-term contracts. Perhaps Mason gets a five-year, $4 million per deal? 

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports NY Islanders GM Garth Snow is considering all options to improve his struggling club but won’t discuss them publicly. Staple cites sources claiming Snow’s been shopping for a goaltender for weeks but cannot find a satisfactory deal.

MIAMI HERALD: George Richards reports Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon denied a report by CBC’s Elliotte Friedman speculating the reason Dmitry Kulikov was a healthy scratch last week was due to a trade which ultimately fell apart.

NEW YORK POST: In the wake of another NY Rangers loss, Larry Brooks called upon GM Glen Sather to do something to shake up the roster sooner rather than later.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports a lack of offense is what’s hurting the Nashville Predators, sitting 26th overall in goals-per-game. He wondered if they might explore a “rent-a-player” option with Buffalo’s Matt Moulson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres are likely to seek young players, picks and/or prospects for Moulson. Perhaps the Predators can draw upon their defensive depth in their system as trade bait for a scorer.


  1. Why isn’t Tim Thomas mentioned in all the potential goalie trades? He is showing he is still more than capable, has a track record in the playoffs and would be considerably cheaper (both in terms of player returna and salary) than the likes of Hiller, Miller or even Fasth. Plus with florida in a potential sell mode he clearly fits the sell veteran category.

    I would think Aneheim would be an ideal location and a three team deal with NYI, sending Hiller to the Islanders, would give the Ducks additional cap space to make anothr tweak.

  2. I can’t see NYI spending to much on a goalie this year as they fall further out of the race, they actually may become sellers. It’s time Snow gets canned.

    • I totally agree !

  3. Well said, Snow has been in rebuild mode for to long to survive this disaster of a season. He deserves credit for finding a few waiver gems but it must be considered that those waiver opportunities would have never occurred if the organization drafted well. The biggest problem for the Islanders is their amatuer scouting, Tavares is a no brainer, after that thier drafting has been poor and thats why thier team is poor.

    • Ehhh Strome Rienhart Hamonic not exactly poor drafts.

      • Again I think a cheap owner might have something to do with it, you can dtaft well all you want but if you cant put complimentary pieces together thru trades or UFA signings besides plucking up some waiver type deals you are not going to have a bunch of success.

    • Re: Islanders
      1) Would not let Snow do anymore with this team. He would be the first to go

      2) At this stage, Find a new GM now, Sign or trade Vanek before deadline and
      if you cannot sign him, get what you can via trade.

      3) Re: Goalie
      Forget Hiller, Miller, Fasth, – If me I would focus on Andersen as in Fredrick
      in Anaheim. 9-1 record and has been a stud in net. He would be cheaper
      than Hiller or Miller but better hurry as Ducks are starting ( I said starting) to
      think Andersen is the future not Gibson.

      • One, I would find a new owner – Wang operates the Islanders like he does CA. Personally, I think Snow’s hands are tied similar to how Darcy had to operate under Golisano – addition by subtraction. Snow did have the opportunity to pick up Thomas or Bryz, but opted not to. I don’t believe Vanek is going to resign with LI, so what they should do is try to move him along and get a quality goalie out of it. With all the injuries to Boston maybe Vanek in exchange for Svedburg and Fraser. It would give Boston another scoring threat and it would give LI some solid prospects to build with.

        • Bouchard on waivers….Speaking of Strome looks like he may be moving up.

      • I Totally agree ! I want you as Isles GM !

  4. I hope that the Flyers sign Mason to a big, long term deal. For one, it would help tie their hands when it comes to signing other players. Two, it would reinforce the proof of just how bad Philly management is.

    • with stolarz coming up i would give him a 3 yr 13.5

      • Stolarz came about in the Bobrovsky trade (Bob to Columbus for 2 2nd round picks). Stolarz was one of those selections. I have heard very good things about him and he was recently selected to play for Team USA at the World Junior Championship.

    • Yeah, getting him for Michael Leighton was a horrible move.

      • Unlike trading the next (at that time) Vezina Trophy winner for a 2nd and two 4ths. That was great player evaluation and great trade value. Then you buy out the guy that you chose over that guy. Then you opt for a career sub-.500 goalie as your starter. That guy is 14-11-3 for you so there is talk about big long term money. Best GM ever!

  5. I just don’t understand how after not even one full season of Mason being good for the first time in a while, he is now qualified to get Carey Price money? That just doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Agreed Geoff! While Mason may have Price’s pedigree, he certainly lacks his consistency.

      • My guess is he’ll get a 4 year deal worth 18 million.

    • Say hello to Philly management. They are out of compliance buyouts so whatever they do they are stuck with. Big money big money big money…

  6. Mason looked good when he broke into the league with Nashville but went down hill from there. So he looked good this year in how many games? The last thing Philly needs is a long term deal for this guy. I would offer a bridge type deal because he hasen’t proven anything. His agent must be Rob Ford for comparing him to Price. Thats like comparing Kadri to Crosby they are not even on the same planet. If he is asking for Price money I would let him walk and sign a UFA like Miller. I bet even if Mason was a UFA he would not get more then 3.5 a year for 3 years. Only Philly would be dumb enough to give him more so can’t blame his agent (Rob Ford) for trying. I bet if Philly gives him more then 3 years at some point they will have to buy him out when he stumbles which he will.

    • Columbus….never played in Nashville.

    • Chris Mason played for Nashville. Steve Mason played for Columbus.

    • A bridge deal makes perfect sense, but I know they’ll give him a 4 year contract.

  7. WOW! And entire report without the Leafs being mentioned. How refreshing!

    • BTW, if Nashville is interested in a scorer like Moulson, would they be willing to trade Forsberg? After all Forsberg = Erat, right?

    • You just did mention them. Or were you just talking to yourself and didn’t realize you were typing.

  8. They should consider shopping Garth Snow. He’s a goaltender! Come On!

  9. Mason’s agent might want to ignore the fact that, in 3 games this month, Mason has a GAA of 4.01 and an 884%…

  10. richards to Tor for reimer then reimer to nash for forsberg =)
    nyr keeps some of richards cap hit/sal

    dreamland but thoughts? heck work mdz in there for gardiner. ?

  11. Where’s Jango? To straight games. Mason’s allowed 4 goals lol.