NHL Morning Rumor Mill – February 15, 2013.

Updates on the Ottawa Senators, plus the latest on Ryan Whitney, Ryan O’Reilly and Jaromir Jagr.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray is working the phones in search of a reasonably priced defenseman who can help the club make the playoffs following the season-ending injury to Erik Karlsson. Murray isn’t willing to part with a first-round pick or top prospect, but that’s the asking price from the teams he’s contacted. Garrioch considers the Islanders Mark Streit as one who could help the Senators PP, but the Isles remain in the playoff chase. He doesn’t consider Hurricanes blueliner Joe Corvo a good fit, as “they’ve been down that road before”. He noted Montreal’s Tomas Kaberle is no longer an effective regular player and contributor. Phoenix’s Keith Yandle would be “a long shot at best”, plus the asking price would be expensive. He also include Edmonton’s Ryan Whitney on the list of available blueliners. Garrioch also reports Murray dismissed speculation he would shop goaltender Craig Anderson for a quality defenseman and call up Robin Lehner.  Don Brennan, meanwhile, wondered if Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky might be a good option, given his reluctance to join the Isles.

Could the Senators have interest in Ryan Whitney?

Could the Senators have interest in Ryan Whitney?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes it’s possible Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini may have called Murray on Ryan Whitney. He wonders if the Oilers would be willing to give up Whitney right now, suggesting they might get a better return if they shop him by the trade deadline. Matheson listed Montreal’s Tomas Kaberle, Toronto’s Mike Komisarek, Washington’s Roman Hamrlik, Tampa Bay’s Marc-Andre Bergeron and Nashville’s Jonathan Blum as blueliners who could be available in the trade market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray isn’t dealing from a position of strength, so he might be forced to wait until the market improves. Obviously he wasn’t going to trade away Anderson, that’s just crazy talk. Brennan’s suggestion of Lubomir Visnovsky isn’t a bad one, but of course that depends on how well he’s fitting in with the Islanders and their willingness to move him.Forget about Streit and Yandle. Kaberle and Hamrlik are past it, Komisarek’s not an offensive blueliner, Bergeron’s sole strength is his shot, and Blum is an uncertainty. Whitney might be the best bet, but his mobility issues this season are a concern.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance listed the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames and Phoenix Coyotes as his top trade destinations for Colorado Avalanche holdout center Ryan O’Reilly.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the NY Rangers have “checked in” on O’Reilly, but are “very unlikely” to deal for the holdout center. Brooks claims the Rangers have a policy of signing RFAs lacking salary arbitration rights to two-year “bridge deals” (O’Reilly is believed seeking a five-year deal). The Blueshirts also have Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin to re-sign this summer, plus they also currently have around $5.22 million in available cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers, if they wanted, could move some salary via trade for O’Reilly, plus as Brooks noted, they still have an amnesty buyout remaining after this season. Still, given their policy regarding RFAs without arbitration rights and O’Reilly’s salary demands, it does appear as though the Rangers aren’t a fit. As for those destinations listed by Custance, TSN’s Darren Dreger claimed the Avs were talking to Eastern Conference teams regarding O’Reilly, so that would rule out – for now, anyway – the Flames and Coyotes.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika believes Jaromir Jagr has been worth every penny of his one-year, $4.55 million contract for the Dallas Stars, but he doubts they could re-sign him given they’re in the process of “transitioning forward”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps, but then again, no one expected the Stars to sign Jagr last summer, or that he’d be willing to go to a club in transition. 


  1. Keith Ballard could be added to the list of potentially available d-men as well.

  2. With Buff back and Bogosian possibly coming back tonight the Jets have a bit of log jam on the blueline with Redmond the only one of the bunch that can be sent down without having to go through waivers. Hainsey and Clitsome are UFA’s at seasons end and Postma is a RFA at seasons end. All three have some offensive abilities perhaps there is a deal to be made for one of them. Maybe Postma and something else like a pick or prospect such as Klingberg for Mark Stone a Winnipeg native.

    • Postma for Bishop I like!

  3. Would Bishop be enough to land Visnovsky? Isles could use long term goalie depth. Or what about Mezzaroz back to Ottowa for Bishop? He’s not really an offensive defenseman but has some skill and the Flyers could equally use good goalie depth.

    • The Flyers could use good goalie depth but more importantly then that they need DEFENSEMEN so trading one away is probably not an option.

  4. We’ll give you Kaberle for free

    • I’ll throw in $5 of my own, if you’ll take him away from us.

      • I’ll throw in $10.

  5. If I were the Ottawa GM I wouldn’t be freaking out and make a move I would regret later. He could just ride the storm and hope MacLean can compensate with a more defensive style of game. After losing your best two offensive players you don’t have much of a choice. If they do decide to make a move the Senators do have a few good prospects to dangle. Moving Anderson would just be the stupidist move he could make. A team like Columbus could trade a guy like Wisniewski, they would want a prospect or two and perhaps a second rounder. Personally I think Murray should do nothing. Both players will be back next season and this shortened season will be written off as a bad memory. Adding guys like Ballard to a young up and coming club makes no sense at all.

  6. What about Wade Redden? He was a healthy scratch the other day in St Louis and could fit into the Sens plans? Also, Keith Ballard and Cam Barker could be available from the Canucks. None of these options are going to replace Karlsson of course, especially Barker, but unless the Sens do something soon, their season could very well be over with all these injuries. I don’t think Anderson can continue his level of play with Spezza, Karlsson and possibly Michelek out.

    • Trust me. The Sens would have absolutely ZERO part of Wade Redden again. Have you forgotten the history there?

  7. I only have one question regarding orielly cuz the rest has been beating the death already. Would the team aquiring him be given a window to negotiate a contract before the trade or is that not allowed?
    I would doubt you’d see a trade between the 2 teams but liles would be a good fit to replace some of the minutes for ottawa. I don’t know what the asking price is but leafs have 3 extra d men now and need to move someone.

    • jrd18. Good question. The negotiation IS allowed, if the Avs permit it. If they decide to trade him, they would for sure allow that, as no team would trade for O’Reilly otherwise.

      • O’Reilly is an RFA which means he can talk to any team he wants right now regardless of if the Av’s permit it

  8. There’s a bunch of patchwork d-men out there. NJ’s got a bunch of d-men and they would take the opportunity to trade Tallinder, maybe even Zidlicky. They certainly wouldn’t ask much for Tallinder.

    • If I were the Sens, I’d inquire TB about Matt Taormina. He’s an underappreciated and underrated d-man and would do the job as well. They could probably get him for cheap, too.

      • Ya but the question is, where do you have everyone ranked??

  9. Kaberle and a 2nd round MTL vs 4rth round pick OTT. That s the price to get rid of Kaberle.

    • Yeah but there is a buy out after this season. Why waste a pick? If there was no buy out, I would jump on that.

      • Personally, if I was the Habs, I’d still strongly consider a deal like that, if it was available. It:

        A) frees up cap space for this year, in case they get near the playoffs and want to make a push;
        B) allows them some buy-out wiggle room. What if Bourque is terrible for the last 30 games? They could buy him our instead of worrying which one to buy out.
        C) While these are billionaires, they’re still businesses and no business wants to waste money. If you could give up an asset but not have to waste money on a season of Kabs this year AND a buyout, you have to at least think about it!

    • I got heavily criticized for suggestion a deal like that in another forum for Tallinder 😀

  10. I think the Sharks have something like 8 D on their roster at the moment, with at least one more riding the shuttle between the NHL & AHL. I believe One of Braun, Demers, or Murray could be had for prospects or picks. Murray is at most a big body stay at home type, but both Demers & Braun and young, high upside mobile D who I think would interest the Sens. I bet Wilson would want at least a 1st for the 2 young guys though

  11. Regarding the O’Reilly situation, it’s too bad that neithr side sought to negotiate a solution to the issue of a 2-year gap between entry-level (EL) contracts and initial arbitration rights. A number of solutions were possible, including a cap on 2nd contracts, having 4- or 4-year EL contracts and then having arbitration start following the expiration of the EL contract.

  12. Kaberle, Leblanc, weber, 2nd,3rd
    Ottawas 1st, Ahl player to replace Leblanc in Hamilton.

    This is my dream lol

  13. I wasn’t going to keep talking about o’reilly but just found a decent comparable. David backes comparable player, strong 2-way and puts up decent points. Not a centre but a 2way centre should be worth more then a winger IMO. Read. Good article about the situation here http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=416077

    • You are dreaming if you think O’Reilly is comparable to Backes. Backes is a horse that does things better than O’Reilly in every phase. At this point, I am completely discouraged that the hockey media, press, and fans actually have determined O’Reilly upside ability purely based on his “trade availability.” Coem on. I loved the kid, had him scouted as a early second rounder when others didn’t. I am overjoyed with his one year success as a top two centre last season. That means you DO get some offense from him when paired with teh high skilled wingers, and that he will continue to be a team leader/capt? play ahrd, control the wall and make good passes. He is far from being some quick lateral puck handler who is coing to dart through and make high level offensive plays. So…tell me which GM is going to be sucked into a Kyle Turris-like gun to the head tarde where they end up not only paying a high cash amount but paying it for the FIVE years his negotiating teams is asking for? This isn’t Ryan Getzlaf, or even Jordan Staal, but so many of the internet who covet O”Reilly as this sure-thing first or second line centre. (Saw the ridiculus 1st rd talk by a TSN “expert” today.)
      Get a hold of yourself…this is a kid whose holding out, and not the next best thing…just the best available…for teams that are SO weak down the middle, they make a dumb trade, pay the contract and find themselves a few years down the road, wondering why they didn’t consult their scoutung staff on JUST how “great” he is.

    • Backes 73 offense 73 defense 73 overall
      O’Reilly 77 offense 65 defense 73 overall

      • Backes : Intimidating horse

        The difference in the comparison starts and ends there.

        • This is your proof:
          Backes 73 offense 73 defense 73 overall ???????
          O’Reilly 77 offense 65 defense 73 overall ???????

          Here’s mine: OReilly scored 18 goals as his highest total, 13 the year before…
          Backes has scored 31 TWICE and 24 and 17 three years ago………….
          …and played tough and gotten space for his linemates, protected teammates.
          O’Reilly has 46 TOTAL penalty minutes in the NHL.

          So they original argument, that they were comparable was never close to correct. And Backes can and does line up at centre besides wing, just like OReilly can be double shifted to wing.

          My point is OReilly has potential but good GOD, man, you and everybody else is making him into Superman.

          • Not proof, I’m just telling you what you’re getting. O’Reilly is 22 and already one of the best offensive centers out there (top 30). Backes has second line stats and is a lot better at 2 way play.

            Intimidation matters in the playoffs, but not as much in the regular season. I agree with Backes if he’s playing with Oshie and Perron… they are a dominant line.

            But… how’s St. Louis’ defense this year?

          • So, the regular season is why you need O’Reilly over Backes?

            I am not a Blues fan, but to bring the Blues current record in as any “weight” to the comparison, or even last year’s is not what we are comparing, because if they WAS the case, did O”Reilly lead the Avs to the playoffs yet?

      • What? Are those fantasy island stats?

        • You mean the
          Backes 73 offense 73 defense 73 overall
          O’Reilly 77 offense 65 defense 73 overall stuff, right?

          That’s what i wondered. GMs don’t make trades by looking at stats anyway, they have theri entire organization decide where the guy fits, and at the price tag young O’Reilly is asking, hE BETTER WELL fit really well.

  14. I think the Sens should consider giving something up a little better to get a longer term solution. Gonchar is getting up there, this may even be his last season so acquiring a top 4 offensive guy would not be a bad move if they can find one. Visnovsky could certainly be solid stop gaps for this season, but the Sens are getting better and if forced into the market you might as well see what you can get. I don’t see Whitney as a good option, but I’m also willing to concede there are no good upcoming UFA D-men that are likely to be moved coming up.

    You have to figure right now giving up a little and targeting guys like The Wiz, Bouwmeester, maybe Regehr, or Green might be a possible solution. I really do think that Wisniewski or Bouwmeester are possible solutions.

  15. I wonder if Ottawa will take look at weber from montreal…he has a big shot, has played wing, and would be cheap. Also an rfa so minimal commiment if it does not work. Affordable contract also. He will not come close to killing Karlsons offence, but might be an ok second tier option if nothing else is out there…

  16. If Bryan Murray is smart he stays where he is at. This team is not a Stanley Cup contender right now so deal with the injuries keep all picks and prospect and take the higher draft position in the June draft. Nobody is going to blame Murray should the Sens miss the playoffs so relax, rehab and re-load.
    As an aside, Melnyk needs to shut the !@#$ up about Cooke, there is no way it was intentional. As for reckless plays, I wonder how Bryan Berards eye is doing these days Mr. Alfredsson.

    • It was Marian Hossa’s stick that hit Berard’s eye when he was winding up to shoot the puck. The Toronto media fuelled by Pat Quinn’s comments built this up as a irresponsible act or careless use of his stick. Don Cherry added fuel to the fire with his usual bias against European players and his love for all things blue. As for Melnyk’s comments on Cooke, none of us truly know what Cooke’s intentions were. I would prefer to believe that it was an accident however based on Cooke’s history of cheap shots how can you be so sure there wasn’t some intent to injure with his action?

      • I remember the incident quite clearly.

        First, Hossa’s stick hit Berard’s eye on the follow-through, not the wind-up. Second, the play was in the Ottawa zone with no one really around. In my opinion, Hossa had no reason whatsoever to whack at the puck so hard his stick came up high enough and with enough force to severely damage a close-by player’s eye.

        It was a careless, reckless act (though almost certainly not intentional, I agree) which, again in my opinion, carried consequences much more serious than Cooke’s in this instance.

        Please don’t brush off the careless, if accidental destruction of a fine young player’s career.

        • They were in the Toronto zone, I meant.

    • Wasn’t that Hossa?

  17. There are only 2 options I want for the sens. Either do nothing like a few people have said. Ride it out, a top 10 pick is not a bad thing in this draft year. Or make a trade that benefits long and short term. Like a trade for Bouwmeester, Regehr or Z. Michalek in Pheonix. That would be cool to have the brothers. But I don’t think he’s available. Trade Gonchar at the deadline, and Bishop too. Another veteran guy would be good for when Gonchar leaves. But looking at the lines Lundin/Phillips, Gonchar/Methot, Benoit/Wiercioch. Its actually not too bad, obviously not ideal. But workable. I really like Benoit and Methot.
    Anyway, Can’t wait to see the Sens/Leafs tomorrow though! Go SENS Go!!!

    • I’m with you Cmac, no need to panic as this team won’t, under any circumstances, be be able to make a serious run this year. It’s year 2 of a re-build so keeping their young players and seeing which ones are legitimate NHL’ers makes far more sense right now plus there are no available players that can replace Karlsson’s skill. The GM should have a pretty good idea what needs to be done in the way of improving the team at the end of this shortened season. Both Gonchar and possibly Bishop likely will attract some interest at the trade deadline and the team is well under the cap for next season so some free agents or acquiring players made available by non-compliant teams might be a better long term strategy. I fully expect this team is going to be highly competitive next season if they’re patient and stay the course.

  18. Totally agree with those who think Sens GM Murray will not go out and make some sweeping overpayment move. No team is trading any players right now, unless they are out of favor —and no team is trading Karlssons or Spezzas for definite.

    Teams looking to go to the playoffs will want to start the dance with NINE to TEN STRONG in terms of depth for the playoff, so thinking that teams are even moving their low end defenders is a bit silly…unless the Senators are crazy desperate and decide to morgage the farm.

    Just why would they do this when they now are in a position of a “get out of jail (bad season) free” card due to the injuries.
    They will re-set towards next year, get a really nice couple draft selections, and their kids will have another year of experience.

  19. I can’t see Murray making anything more than a depth move to add a bottom end D-man just in case someone goes down, but even then he’ll likely stick with the kids. You are not getting anyone that will remotely help the team like Karlsson. Play the kids so you are better next year.

  20. Sorry to all the Ottawa fans, but with a full roster that team is still no lock to be a playoff team. All the who should they trade for talk is for not. They are a rebuilding team. Stick with the rebuild. No need to pay for an attemped stop gap on a rebuilding team that probably wasn’t going to make the playoffs in the first place.

  21. Jagr is a mercenary. He will go to the highest bidder.

  22. As a Sens fan I just want Murray to go with the young players for now.

    I don’t want to see them give up Bishop yet. They would have to bring up Lehner now and that would leave Binghamton with just about nothing.

    Binghamton has lost 3 of it’s top 4 D to Ottawa. 8 out of the 12 forwards are up with Ottawa (6) or injured (2)..

    If the Sens don’t make the playoffs then they don’t. If they do make the playoffs they would probably be out in 4 straight games.

    Would it not be better in that situation to be out of the playoffs with a better draft position is what is supposed to be a very good draft.

    The top injuries to the Sens this season is beyond ridiculous. Right now they have 2 top 6 forwards. Out of the 22 current roster players… 14 of them were in the AHL two years ago or less. Not a lot of experience.. just hope they can stay close in games.

    Craig Anderson is going to earn his salary the rest of the season…