NHL Morning Rumor Mill – February 16, 2014.

Updates on Ales Hemsky and David Legwand, plus the latest on the Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

Canadiens or Penguins interested in Ales Hemsky?

Canadiens or Penguins interested in Ales Hemsky?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis recently cited Edmonton sports radio host Bob Stauffer suggesting the Montreal Canadiens or Pittsburgh Penguins could have interest in Oilers right wing Ales Hemsky. Stauffer also noted the San Jose Sharks were following the Oilers leading up to the Olympic break.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hemsky will undoubtedly attract some interest leading up to the trade deadline for teams which either lose out in the bidding for Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson and Mike Cammalleri, or those which consider Hemsky a more affordable option than Vanek ($7 million cap hit) or Cammalleri ($7 million salary). The Oilers shouldn’t expect to get much back. At best I think they get a second round pick.

BOSTON GLOBE:  Fluto Shinzawa reports Nashville Predators center David Legwand has a no-movement clause, but believes he’d be a good fit with the St. Louis Blues or Chicago Blackhawks…The Florida Panthers have a surplus of forwards, but several of those who would be complimentary additions for playoff teams (Tomas Fleischmann,Tomas Kopecky, Sean Bergenheim, Scottie Upshall, and Shawn Matthias) have one season each remaining on their contracts. That could make them tough to move at the trade deadline.  Shinzawa suggests the Panthers might have to absorb some of their salaries, as they did earlier this season with Kris Versteeg.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Legwand agrees to be dealt the Predators won’t just give him away. The Blackhawks recently acquired Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin, so they might not bother seeking further depth at center. The Blues could be content to await Vladimir Sobotka’s return from injury, as he’s expected back in early March.

As for the Panthers, having retained salary on Versteeg’s contract, they can only do so with two more players for this season. Versteeg’s salary retention last through the remainder of his contract (which expires in 2016). If they retain salary on, say, Fleischmann and Upshall this season, unless they stipulate they’re saving parts of their salaries only for this season, that retention continues through next season. It will effectively prevent them from retaining more salary during 2014-15. 

POST-GAZETTE: Dave Molinari reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero remains non-committal over his plans for the March 5th NHL trade deadline. Molinari notes Shero has a long history of swinging significant deals before or at the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t rule out Shero making a move by the deadline. He has depth in promising blueliners from which he could draw as trade bait for a rental player.

19 Comments

  1. I would trade for Vanek only if he signs a new contract with Pitt first. But he already said he wants to get to July.. I don’t want to give away another first round pick or lose prospects on a Hemsky or Moulson..maybe if Shero could get Boyes for a low level prospect or late round pick….I would of liked to see Shero move Letang but that can’t happen now.. Might have to try and move him at the draft but after the Stroke thing who knows if there would be any takers

    • Right Pittsburgh is already paying both Malkin and Crosby $8.7 million for the forseeable future and then they’re going to give Vanek another $8 million on top of that. Even with the cap going up I cant see pittsburgh shelling out another $8 million for Vanek plus they’re paying big salary to Letang as well.

      • My feeling is that we could see Pitt doing a deal for Moulson – he would complement Sid and fill in for Dupuis. I could see something like Bennett and their 2015 1st rounder in return for Moulson and Adam. Also with Latang on LTIR, maybe Pitts can use Tallinder or McBain.

    • Pens need defense and toughness. If they don’t get that they’ll probably just get man handled by the Bruins again.

      They have no need for Vanek.

      • Very correct. They need toughness not scoring

  2. I have a gut feeling Shero finds a way to get vanek/a.macdonald from the isles .

    despres , pit #1 in 2014 , and a decent prospect

    • Really something like this would be the best way for the Isles to maximize Vaneks value. I agree this is something I could possibly see happening.

    • These two players MacDonad and Vanek are over the hill, lost steps Brendan Morrow, Iginla, and Douglas Murray…you are not sending a Despres or any other young dee-men unable to adjust as a top two pair NHLer, or suspect prospects (as Pittsbugh did last trade deadline) plus a late first rounder and ACQUIRE Vanek and or MacDonald.
      They still will have future years were they contribute to line-ups in more than a lower support role.
      and any one think teams are lining up to overpay for Letang NOW????
      Cut back -Too much igloo kool aid flowing in your system.

      • ? McDonald is 27 years old what do you mean hes lost a step? Good pickup to play in a top 4 role, and could be a little less leaned on than on Long Island with a decent supporting cast.

      • I agree Bill,
        There is this pesky little problem of cap space to think about as well. Pittsburgh in no way shape or form could retain Vanek or McDonald past this season anyway. I’m not even sure they could find the room as rentals, I guess that depends on Letangs status.

        • If Letang goes on ltir and with Dupuis already there the Pens would have room for them as rentals. Another team maybe able to squeeze them in aswell in a package deal or if Snow held some salary, at any rate this is probably the best option to increase the value of Vanek who looks like he is going to sign in Minnesota. McDonald will have barely any kind of cap hit come deadline day.

      • Vanek is 30, hardly over the hill. He has at least 4-6 good years left.

        • @Bill, Really? Vanek and MacDonald over the hill? Totally disagree, both are very capable top line players.

      • Bill how are those 2 over the hill? They are just entering the prime of there careers.

      • I totally missed the word NOT over the hill like the rest from last year….

        It throws the entire context off, so let me try again:

        These two players MacDonad and Vanek are NOT over the hill, lost steps Brendan Morrow, Iginla, and Douglas Murray…you are not sending a Despres or any other young dee-men unable to adjust as a top two pair NHLer, or suspect prospects (as Pittsbugh did last trade deadline) plus a late first rounder and ACQUIRE Vanek and or MacDonald.
        They still will have future years were they contribute to line-ups in more than a lower support role.
        and any one think teams are lining up to overpay for Letang NOW????
        Cut back -Too much igloo kool aid flowing in your system.

        • Somehow in my drunken state I knew what you meant at the time.

  3. Penguins should be after Steve Ott and a more affordable scoring winger IMO. They want Ott for that grit and depth, plus an extra set of hands for the faceoff circle. I would probably target lower tier guys like Brad Boyes, Mason Raymond, Lee Stepniak (not saying they are available, just their type). These are low risk, low cost, high reward type guys. With Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz, Jokinen all playing well why take the risk? I understand the desire to play with a better top 6 winger, however if say they acquire Ott & Boyes you can’t say they wouldn’t produce.

    As for Chicago if they want a 2nd line center David Legwand is who I would be targeting. Gritty, hardworking, good in the dot, tons of leadership. Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Bickell, Legwand makes for a pretty damn scary top 6! Problem being even if the Preds retained 1/2 his salary what are the Hawks giving up to find that room? Versteeg is the logical choice, but the guy is a strong playoff performer. So I am not sure it could work. They would probably look to somehow dump a combination of any two of the following players. Handzus, Brookbank, Labarbera, Bouchard. Nashville retaining half salary plus dumping two of those players would make it work I believe.

    • I completely agree! I have felt that Ott would make a perfect pickup by the Pens. Plays a great gritty game that is lacking on this team, can play Centre or the wing, and anywhere throughout the 4 forward lines if need be. Has good hands for a grinder and isn’t afraid to drop them. His track record in the playoffs with Dallas is decent as well.
      I’m a big fan of Raymond, but feel Boyes is too streaky and Stepniak is really best suited for a 3rd line scoring role – but that fits with the current needs to give Sutter some scoring depth and on the cheap.

  4. Shero may not wait until deadline and may look to move veteran D for depth at top 6 wing. Niskanen and Orpik are in last year of contract, Despres has become expendable, even Martin has only 1 year remaining (and a $5 million cap hit). Watch Letang’s status over the next 10 days – if IR, then it will be difficult to move a veteran D – but, if expected back by end of season – then Penguins could open cap space and get the depth they need with a top six forward – potentially one with another year remaining on their contract.