NHL Morning Rumor Mill – February 24, 2014

The Rangers reportedly sought a Ryan Callahan-for-Martin St. Louis swap, plus the latest on Thomas Vanek, Mike Cammalleri and Steve Ott.

Does Martin St. Louis want out of Tampa Bay?

Does Martin St. Louis want out of Tampa Bay?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks cites sources claiming New York Rangers GM Glen Sather inquired about a potential swap of captains with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the wake of Martin St. Louis’ initial exclusion from Canada’s men’s Olympic team. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman reportedly had no interest in swapping his captain for a rental player. Sather wasn’t willing to send the Lightning young players, draft picks and/or prospects to land St. Louis, who has a full no-movement clause. His contract runs through 2014-15 at a cap hit of $5.625 million. Brooks also reports the Rangers contract talks with Callahan and Dan Girardi appear to be at a stalemate, and it’s believed he’s willing to shop them rather than lose them for nothing this summer to free agency.

TVASPORTS.COM: cited Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos’ claim that St. Louis asked to be dealt after he was initially left off Team Canada. Kypreos says he’s told some NHL GMs aren’t sure if St. Louis still feels the same way.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I find the timing of this rumor odd, coming over a month after the initial announcement of the Canadian roster and less than 24 hours after Canada’s Olympic men’s hockey team won gold. I have my doubts that St. Louis would demand a trade because of his initial exclusion from Team Canada. I’m sure he wasn’t pleased at the time, and I could certainly see him speaking with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman (who was also GM of Team Canada) about it. I also wouldn’t be surprised if rival GMs would try to exploit the situation by inquiring about his availability.  Hopefully we’ll learn more about this in the coming days. 

NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports it’s inevitable the New York Islanders will deal Thomas Vanek by the March 5 trade deadline. It’s believed the Islanders asking price is a first along with a second round pick or top prospect.

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson lists the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins as possible destinations for Calgary Flames winger Mike Cammalleri, and didn’t rule out his re-signing with the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks are rumored to be more interested in adding an experienced shutdown defenseman than a scoring winger.  The Kings have limited cap space meaning the Flames would have to take some salary back in the deal. The Devils and Penguins reportedly have interest in Cammalleri but the asking price (a high draft pick or a good young player) could be more than they wish to pay. The Penguins also have to ensure they have the cap space to pick up the remainder of his salary. As for the Flames, Cammalleri will have to accept a significant pay cut from his current $6 million per season to remain in the Stampede City.

BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports Sabres captain Steve Ott wants to stay but he’s yet to have contract talks with new management. He’s eligible for UFA status in July.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Sabres could be waiting to see what offers they get for Ott. If they don’t get anything worthwhile by the trade deadline, they could open contract talks by season’s end.


  1. I’m with Lyle on the St. Louis rumors. It seems odd that St. Louis would want to be traded away from the team that, even without Stamkos, is sitting number two in the Atlantic over an alleged Olympic snub. It doesn’t sound right to me. Maybe if they were out of a playoff spot and Stamkos just got injured I would see St. Louis wanting to go to a contender.

    I also can’t see Cammalleri coming back to the Kings. While he is a goal-scorer, he’s small, has a terrible plus/minus, and had an acrimonious arbitration with GM Dean Lombardi. Further, when he was traded to Calgary, he took a little swipe at Kings’ fans. When Jack Johnson was nicknamed JMFJ (Jack Mother …… Johnson), a friend of mine named Cammallieri GLMFG… Greedy Little Mother …. Gnome.

    The Kings need a goal-scorer who is physical and defensively sound, and will go to the net. They need somebody like Kessler in Vancouver (not that I’m suggesting that he’s available).

    • I agree that the Kings won’t be in on Cammy, DL traded him away once already cause he didn’t think he was worth what he wanted and that was when he was scoring 80 pts.

    • … not to mention that the rumour itself is ridiculous! Trade a 2 time Art Ross winner with a very friendly cap-hit for what he brings and is a good leader for a mere rental player who’s salary demands are so high TB would never sign him (probably nor would any other team) beyond this season… seriously?

    • Hmm kings should trade for Raymond. Cheap and good who knows the western conf.

      • I thought this as well the second back from the Bernier deal, hell they could throw in Fratin.

  2. Spector, I have a cap question for you. With Tavares done for the season (potential LTIR candidate?), if Snow deals Vanek for picks or prospects, will the Islanders be able to stay above the cap floor? I’m not sure how that would work.

    Thank you!

    • The Islanders’ payroll currently sits at $51.7 million. Even if they trade Vanek (whose salary is $5.25 million against the Isles cap) for picks and prospects they’ll remain above the cap minimum of $44 million. Placing Tavares on LTIR won’t affect that. LTIR only works as a benefit if a team is sitting close to the cap ceiling, as it allows a team to go over the cap by the equivalent amount of that player’s salary. That doesn’t apply to the Isles as they’re nowhere near the cap ceiling.

      • Hey Spec are you aloud to go below the cap floor during the season? What happens if you are below?

        • Teams must be cap compliant with the minimum as they must be with the cap maximum. Fail to comply involves penalties such as hefty fines and/or forfeit of draft picks.

        • I think you are confusing two things……

          1. cap floor of current roster
          2. money spent on salaries for entire season based on per day on roster.

          Lets say for the sake of Argument and math simplicity Vanek make $5M for a season…and the trade deadline is 4/5 of the season played with 1/5 the season left to be played.

          The islanders total salary is at $47M with cap floor of $44M.

          The isalnders trade Vanek at the deadline for picks and prospects not part of the 23 man roster.

          You may want to say the Islanders are now at $42M with Vanek off thus below the floor–thus below the cap floor—but that isnt how it works.

          They paided Vanek $4M of his $5M salary at the time of the trade so that $4M counts against the Islanders cap…so really they are at $46M ($42M+ $4M for Vanek)—thus above the cap floor.

          The way to view cap compliance is via the daily pay roll up.

          If the season was 176 days (make math easier again) with a $44M cap floor the teams must be spending a minimum of $250,000 in salary per day of the team tear.

          At at day 40 of the season they should have paid out $10M in salaries.

          similarly at the deadline you may think Vanek or Miller would put teams over the cap—not so—Vanek at the dealine witll be owed about $1.4M. Buffalo retained 20% makinbg the actual salary owed closer to $1.12M. the Islanders can retain up to 50% of this owed lowere his salary owed to something like $600,000. With Miller –he is owed about $1.2M at the dealine so buffalo retianing 50$ makes him $600,000 owed tot he new team. That $600,000 for each player is all the cap space that is needed on new team to acquire them without giving up current roster players.

          LTIR players still count against the cap. The times they may not “count” is when the team is if the team is at the ceiling, the player is injured and on LTIR so the team needs to replace him on the roster.

      • Thank you for confirming! I couldn’t find any information related to LTIR and the cap floor on capgeek.com. I appreciate you taking time to explain it!

  3. St. Louis being traded is ridiculous. Not gonna happen. Good cap hit and will retire with Tampa after next season.

    I’d be surprised if Vanek gets anything more than a late 1st and a middling prospect. Hemsky might fetch a 3rd at best. I’d suspect NJ makes a pitch for him. Callahan and Girardi will both get 1st rounders but Girardi won’t get traded.

    Steve Ott will probably get traded and I would suspect that Pitt, Boston and St. Louis will be interested.

    There are only four or five real sellers and out of them there are not many players of value except for Vanek, Ott, Gagner, Hemsky, Cammalleri, Miller and Boyes. All of them except Gagner are rentals and I don’t think anyone is going to go nuts this year over that group. Gagner won’t get traded till the draft is what I’m thinking. Ott in Pitts, Vanek in Minnesota, Miller is anyone’s guess. Cammalleri I have a gut feeling will resign with the Flames.

    Callahan just is asking for too much for what he brings. People tend to overrate leadership and grit when it comes to putting a price tag on guys. If that was the case, someone give Ryan Smyth a new 5 year deal. People pay for production, and although Callahan is a good player, he is a complimentary player at best. You pay for production. Not intangibles.

    • Agreed about St. Louis not being traded. I think Kypreos just made that up. But as far as St. Louis retiring after next season I think your crazy. He’s got more to offer a team then Selanne. He’ll be around for atleast another 3-4 years.

      Vanek won’t get a top 1st. I think he will get a first in the 20’s somewhere + a top flight prospect.

      Moulson not on your list of valuable players this trade deadline but Hemsky, Boyes and Gagner are? What you talking about Willis?

      Totally agree on Callahan. Sabres will end up offering it to him though. He won’t be able to play in a few years with the way his injuries have gone. He still hasn’t played a full season or even reach 30 goals for that matter. Probably be good for half his contract length wise but money wise? Hell no. Sabres were that team that offered Doan a huge contract like I believe it was like $6-$7 mill a year.

    • Chester – you need to add Moulson to the list. I see Pitts going after him – he is a “go to” guy, brings a great work ethic, can score and would complement Sid. I see him as a better fit for Pits than Vanek (who the Islanders are gonna want top dollar for) or Ott. I think Ott fits better as a Rental in LA and then returning to Bflo.

    • Overall i agree. But Callahan is more than a complimentary player. He is not a star player. He would be a number 6 forward on most good teams plus is a good example on the ice. In a cap league he is not worth 6.5 MM+ per year though but my guess is that someone will pay this or he already knows that someone will pay it.

  4. I don’t expect we will ever hear from Yzerman or St. Louis if a trade was requested because frankly it is none of our business haha. It will be telling if he doesn’t resign with Tampa.

    I am a huge St. Louis fan, but after seeing him play in the Olympics he clearly didn’t fit the style team Canada wanted to play on the big ice and see why they didn’t include him initially. I kinda think Yzerman felt pressured the 2nd time to include him. St. Louis absolutely deserved to be on the team but did not fit the team’s style of play(then again there were always going to be a couple players riding the bench).

    • I agree St. Louis didn’t really look comfortable. I wonder if we will here anything from Mr. my guy should have been picked Snider now. Since he seems to know so much I wonder if he will replace BB as team USA GM for next Olympics.

  5. I can easily see Ott being traded and then resigning with the Sabres in the summer. I think this may happen because the Sabres will offer him more money (they need to get off the cap floor) than whatever team he is traded to.

    Moulson could go the same way but I doubt it, as he will command a higher salary.

  6. Why is the talk of MSL getting traded so hard to fathom???

    He was excluded from team Canada by the team GM who also happens to be Tampa Bay’s GM as well….HHMMMM.

    I am willing to wager there was some talk in the summer that he was a shoe in to be on team canada.

    • It’s not the fact that MSL could be traded, but MSL for Callahan straight up is laughable.

    • Its not hard to fathom that he could be traded. I very much doubt from the way things have gone on that there was a “hissy fit” I didn’t make team Canada so trade me situation tho.

  7. Some team will overpay for St.Louis and that is advantage Tampa Bay. He’s 38 and has one year remaining…..why wouldn’t Yzerman listen to offers? I understand that he is a likeable guy but keeping in mind it’s a business and you’re goal is to improve your team, it’s too foolish to think that he’s untouchable. Tampa Bay could get a huge return that would greatly improve their team.

    • Agreed, I’m not sure how untouchable he was at the beginning of the season to be honest, so I’m not sure how much that would change now. Teams have to get younger to stay competitive its a faster game. Yes Marty still puts up points but for the right price Yzerman would have to listen at least. Its the same team that bought out their captain lets not forget and showed a great improvement.
      Your right its a business and the business revolves around winning. If they can move St. Louis for younger players and stay competitive longer or become a deeper team that wins more now, bye bye Marty thanks for your hard work over the years. Nothing against the player.

  8. any rumour that starts with the name bruce garrioch or larry brooks, I automatically assume their “source” is their magic 8 ball. if either of these “journalists” ever breaks a “story” that pans out, I’ll shave my head.

  9. While I agree that it is hard to fathom Tampa messing with team chemistry I do believe there is something to the St. Louis rumor. Martin has a “nmc” clause in his contract and would no doubt agree to a move to the rangers to finish his career. Having a home in Greenwich he would instantly be a “beloved” ranger given his style of play . Arguably while the standings don’t lie the rangers have about an equal chance with Tampa of reaching the cup having “king” henrik in net. Put on the top line with Richards and Nash one could envision St. Louis bringing the best out of his line mates. Reaching the Stanley cup with the rangers would make him an icon in NYC and lead Martin to be idolized in the same vein as mark messier . Given his remarkable career wouldn’t you seek this final challenge of your career?

  10. Or would you settle to finish your career playing for Gm who didn’t pick you two separate times for Team Canada. Marty is a first ballot hall of famer with nothing left to prove. He deserves the opportunity to cap his career off by winning a Stanley Cup in NYC . Should he have requested this opportunity from Yzerman it should be granted for all his contributions to Tampa. Getting a rental player the quality of Ryan Callahan to team with a returning stamkos to make a run could be a lot worse. In summation if Marty asked the question of yzerman he has earned the right to finish his career as requested.

  11. The Islanders will have to lower their asking price a little, as Vanek is set to become a UFA and is a pretty expensive piece to add to any roster. The teams that should be seriously inquiring for Vanek, are the ones that are playoff hopefuls, or ones that need to become a now team…of whom are losing fans at their arena’s (Winnipeg and Columbus).

    To Winnipeg: Vanek + MacDonald
    To Islanders: Byfuglien + Frolik
    To Columbus: Vanek + Grabner
    To Islanders: Gaborik + Goloubef