NHL Morning Rumor Mill – February 4, 2014

Latest on Thomas Vanek, Ryan Callahan, Mike Cammalleri, Alexander Edler, Sam Gagner, David Legwand and Tim Thomas.

Islanders now shopping Vanek?

Islanders now shopping Vanek?

TSN.CA: Darren Dreger claims NY Rangers winger Ryan Callahan is seeking more that $6.5 million but less than $7 million on a seven-year deal. The Rangers don’t want to pay him more than $6 million per and Dreger considers it 50-50 Callahan could be dealt by Friday’s Olympic roster freeze. He also claims the Chris Stewart deal with the St. Louis Blues is still there, and touched on the Rangers still having to re-sign Dan Girardi…Bob McKenzie claims Islanders GM Garth Snow is still trying to re-sign Thomas Vanek but is also looking at trade scenarios for the March 5 trade deadline. McKenzie suggests the LA Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins could have interest in Vanek…McKenzie rejects the notion the Canucks acquisition yesterday of defenseman Raphael Diaz sets the table for an Alexander Edler trade, suggesting it was done to add depth to their injury-depleted blueline…He also claims the Nashville Predators are shopping pending UFA center David Legwand, with the expected asking price a first or second round pick. Legwand carries a full no-movement clause and will ultimately decide where he finishes this season.

NHL LIVE (VIA KUKLA’S KORNER): Dreger repeated what he and McKenzie discussed above, plus spoke about the slumping Kings. He claims they could pursue Vanek, Buffalo’s Matt Moulson, Calgary’s Mike Cammalleri and perhaps Edmonton’s Sam Gagner, though the latter still has term on his contract which could be a tight fit under the Kings’ limited cap space.

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple yesterday broke the news Thomas Vanek rejected a expensive contract (believed in the range of his current seven-year, $50 million contract) and GM Garth Snow is now fielding trade offers.  Having given up winger Matt Moulson, a conditional first rounder in 2014 and a 2015 second rounder for Vanek, Snow could try to get a similar return for him.

SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL’s Chris Botta tweeted: “Told that Thomas Vanek is well aware he may be leaving $ on the table. He knows he may not get 50/7 from his teams of choice.

ESPN.COM: Katie Strang reports Ryan Callahan’s agent Steve Bartlett intends to “circle back” in talks with the Rangers. Callahan meanwhile declines to comment on the negotiations and doesn’t wish to be drawn too deeply into the talks.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross suggests trading Callahan could unravel the team chemistry the Rangers have developed in recent weeks, potentially jeopardizing their playoff hopes.

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford cited an interview CBC’s Elliotte Friedman gave with Sportsnet 960 radio where he claimed the Kings are interested in Oilers center Sam Gagner. He claims there’s some “moving parts” to this, among them the question of the Oilers absorbing part of Gagner’s remaining contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like negotiations between the Rangers and Callahan’s agent will continue. Unless the Rangers’ captain is willing to reduce his asking price it appears GM Glen Sather will try to move him by Friday…Unless the Islanders are prepared to grossly overpay Vanek he’ll probably be moved by the March trade deadline. I could see him taking a discount to sign with the Minnesota Wild this summer but I don’t think the Wild will trade for him now because of the difficulty in absorbing the remainder of his contract under their limited cap space…If the Preds do move Legwand that would potentially cripple their playoff hopes…Gagner has two years left on his three-year deal with a NTC that kicks in next season at a cap hit of $4.8 million per season. The Kings currently have over $1.4 million in cap space. They’ll not only need the Oilers to absorb part of Gagner’s contract but will also need to move out a player to shed further salary to make this work.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti reports the Devils need for a scoring left winger has GM Lou Lamoriello showing interest in Flames winger Mike Cammalleri. It’s believed the Flames seek draft picks and/or prospects in return. The Devils lack a pick in the first round of this year’s draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils have also be trying to restock their cupboard of prospects and could be reluctant to part with much.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Craig Davis reports Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas is receptive toward the possibility of re-signing with the club.


  1. 3 more days till trade freeze, let the trades begin!

    • Trading now would be good as a player will get to gel with his team mates for 3 weeks before actual games begin again. I think this would make sense more then the March deadline. But nothing in the cap world makes sense anymore and I only expect 3rd and mostly 4th liners to move now or in march.

      • Good point on the chance to gel during the Olympic break! (provided the traded player isn’t an Olympian, anyway)

    • Wooohoooo!!!

      • Isn’t the shut down mean that teams can’t practice? It is essentially a vacation for players as the facilities will be closed.

        • OK mentally gel

          • They can practice the last week of the break.

  2. This Callahan situation is a total salary dump so Cablevision has the $$$ to resign Carmello. Same thing happened Summer of 1997 when the Captain was not signed and all of the $$$ was given to Patrick Ewing

  3. NEW YORK RANGERS: 7/6.5M would be an overpayment in my opinion for Callahan. He’s a good leader and moral booster per multiple reports but as far as a top 6 winger is concerned, his points don’t jump out on paper, his +/- is relatively negative year in and year out, his shot percentage is below normal for a top 6 player receiving top 6 minutes.
    NEW YORK ISLANDERS: “Having given up winger Matt Moulson, a conditional first rounder in 2014 and a 2015 second rounder for Vanek, Snow could try to get a similar return for him”. I hope the organization doesn’t receive that type of package for T. Vanek because I feel the organization gave up a little too much without some type of reassurance that T. Vanek would resign or work on some type of contract with Snow. The player probably had his mind already made up even before he was traded. I’d put my pucks in the basket and say he signs with the Wild and Snow moves him but for a lesser package, probably a 1st round pick (It’ll be low in the round because it’ll be a playoff bound team) and a prospect.

    • @BBruins, I don’t think the WIld can afford Vanek before the season is over and I think he gets traded this week or by the March deadline. If we didn’t have Heatley or could get rid of him that would make it easier. The Kings are dying for offense and the Wild are weak at goaltending, I’d rather see them go after Miller. Brodziak and Mitchell could go too. Maybe a package deal for Legwand? Not likely.

      • Could see this on Friday:
        To Wild: Vanek
        To Islanders: Heatley & conditional 2014 1st round pick.

        Heatley is probably looking for one last chance to prove he’s still good. The Isles are going to lose Vanek this summer.
        Minnesota may want Vanek now to ensure a playoff berth. The Islanders want something instead of nothing when Vanek walks away in the off-season.
        The condition can be a 1st round pick in 2014 if Minnesota makes it past the 1st round of the playoffs, otherwise we can see multiple year 2nd rounders?
        Just spit-balling.

        • @Konstantine, I don’t know what it would take to get Vanek now, Heatley is like getting a kick in the balls to any team he goes to, he career is reaching an end, I think the Islanders would want Zucker or Coyle thrown in with Heatley and I’m pretty sure Fletcher wont do that, but who knows!

          • I agree that Vanek would be worth more, if he wasn’t a UFA end of season.
            I think Snow is dealing from a position of weakness, Vanek is a goner and other GMs know this too, so he’ll take what he can get for him as a rental. Snow’s also a gambler, he may want to take a chance on Heatley.
            As I said, just spit-balling since the swap would allow the $ numbers to work

        • Teams always overpay at the deadline. You’ll find that one team that would do that for Vanek

        • Wow Konstantine, that’s an incredibly bad deal for the Isles. Course if we tweak it just a bit it might make sense. How about Heatliey, a mid to high level prospect and a 1st in 2015 for the Isalnder agreeing to take on Heatly and his contract? The Isles could send back a 7th rounder for that package and then Minny would have the room to pursue Miller.

          The Isles are going to get a number of offers for Vanek. Some of them will actually make sense so they sure don’t need to help Minny unload their crap.

          • Trading Vanek for a conditional first and Heatly would get Snow fired.
            That would be the biggest screw up ever.
            He gave away the farm to get him for the year and then dumped him for a conditional pick and a big bill. This makes zero sense even if the dollars work.
            There is no way, absolutely no possible way, that trade is the best he is offered. If it is, Snow should keep him for the rest of the year.

        • I could see this but Fletcher sounds reluctant to give up a #1 in back-to-back years. More likely the Wild wait and hope that if what Vanek has told people close to him is true he will sign with the Wild regardless of the other offers he gets.

      • I’ve said this since the Vanek/Moulson trade took place that Snow should have targeted Miller over Vanek. If Snow did his due diligence he should have known Pegula offered mega bucks to Vanek to re-sign and Vanek said no thanks. I think wifey wants to live year round back home in Minnesota and maybe Vanek feels the same so I would be surprised If Vanek ends up anywhere but with the Wild next year.
        The Sabres would not have the amount of points they have if it weren’t for Miller and Miller would have NY right in the middle of the playoff hunt if not already had them cemented in a secured spot. I also think Moulson would have been an easy re-sign. Moulson now has experienced enough time away from JT and NY that mattering where Buffalo trades him he won’t look back plus I bet he feels the Isle’s dissed him by not even offering him a contract so he might not even think about going back to NY. Snow has painted himself into a corner because he also has to decide what year to give the Sabres a first whether it’s a top 5 in a weak draft to what could amount to a top 5 in a strong draft because I don’t see NY improving to much over the off season. JMO

    • Captain Mikko Koivu is getting 6.75M per for 5 years starting this season, he puts up an average of 50 points per year and misses time due to injuries. Callahan puts up similar numbers but is injured more often than Mikko, so I can see how how he is demanding that kind of salary and term even though neither player is worth that contract. IMO.

    • The Vanek trade from Buffalo shows how much Garth Snow gambled and apparently lost. Unless Vanek or Moulson re-signs with the Islanders, this trade is a disaster. How a GM could give up a top-line forward and two high draft picks for a UFA who is likely to test the free-agent market, I’ll never know. John Tavares must wonder if he’ll ever play on a good team on Long Island.

      • I agree that the trade didn’t make much sense since the Isles should have used those trade chips to pick up either a D man or a real goalie. Don’t think it has a negative effect on JT at all. The team went out to get an upgrade on his wing which showed some real benefits once they got used to one another. There’s a lot of help on the way, particularly on D. JT will be fine and continues to show that he’s a great team leader and captain. And no he won’t be asking to be traded to Toronto any time in the next five to ten years.

  4. If David Legwand allows for him to be traded I see Los Angeles as a very good spot for him as this is a veteran laden team and the guys will respect him coming in from the predators, he has great numbers and would be an inspiration to the team to try and win him a cup, would be a great addition.

    If – no – sorry – WHEN – the Islanders move Vanek my bet is that the islanders will sign Callahan in the off season as a UFA, and give him the money Vanek turned down ( or less ) and he gets to stay in New York, they are opening a new building and he will be a great addition to the Tavares line moving forward.
    and if Moulson goes UFA he may go back to the Islanders in the off season as well, you may see a line like Callahan – Tavares – Moulson , stranger things have happened in long island to say the least.

    I think that Vancouver may have traded for Diaz ( puck mover ) to set the table to where they will trade Edler to the Oilers for Gagne. Once again just a sport gut feeling , Vancouver has been looking for a top Center and his father is in the organization as well. They need seconarty scoring between Sedin, Burrows and Kesler they have less than 5 goals in the last 15 games

    • Now I am convinced Budzzz and Backchecking are one and the same.

      Backchecking constantly spells Gagner with no r, and Budzzz is doing the same.

      Vancouver is depleted on defense, so they picked up a dman. Simple as that.

      Backchecking also “reported” Vancouver is looking for a top center…they are not. They have Sedin and Kessler. They are looking for a 3rd line center, and defensive depth.

      I live in Vancouver, and that is what the buzz is, not this top center crap.

      Vancouver is also injury ravished right now.

      They have no place for GagneR!!

      • LOL, Detective Gary SIR!!

      • I wonder……….Does he ever argue with himself? And any arguments that may happen……Is there ever a winner?

    • It’s called a sock puppet. I’ve called him out on it before and said it was guests he had over. I’m sure that was the case because Lyle can see if the same ip posted but in any case, like most of his post, nothing to see so we’ll move along.

      • This issue has been addressed. I tried to reach the individual via e-mail but both were bounced.

    • on what planet is gagner a top centre?

      • The same planet where players have no defensive ability whatsoever after 7 years in the league and make the same mistakes today as they did in their rookie year :)

        Gagner could very well end up going to the Kings, but the return isn’t likely to be anything Oilers fans would want.

        It would likely play out like this: Oilers eat half of Gagner’s salary for the next two seasons and in return the Kings hand over Kyle Clifford. Sound like a bad deal? That’s about what Gagner is worth currently.

        Toffoli or King would be great for the Oilers for sure but Lombardi isn’t likely moving either of them before the playoffs.

  5. The Kings are approaching “Red Alert” status on the goal scoring front, so I can see them taking a run at Vanek or Legwand.

    • Legwand to help goal scoring? He’s reached the 20 goal plateau all but twice throughout his tenure in the NHL.

      • Yeah but look who his wingers were, not exactly a star-studded cast…

      • @Jes, change of scenery and he might do better than you think.

    • Question becomes who do Kings trade without breaking up their roster ?
      To get Penner & Carter they have traded #1’s plus younger players.
      Also traded picks for Regher. Don’t think they want to trade Toffoli or Voynov
      or Muzzin for a quick fix.

      • @alforducks, the first name that came to mind was Voynov and a pick. Probably won’t happen of course, just something to think about.

  6. Budzzz, the Edler for Gagne swap is laughable. First, the Canucks would want more than Gagne, Second The Canucks are trying to get younger, stock their anemic prospects pool. IMO, all are available including
    the Sedins (although it wont likely happen) but ship out Burrows, Kesler, Edler, Bieksa, Hansen and get a
    few first rounders this year. Trade those for the first overall which will most likely be Ekblad. Call up the kids
    and let them play! Gaunce centering the third line, Horvat centering the second, H. Sedin the first. Kassian
    on the first line, Shinkaruk on the second, Jensen with Gaunce. Not too shabby.

  7. Patrick, Aside from Gagner’s contract the Edler-Gagner swap isn’t that laughable. If the Canucks are trying to get younger then Gagner is a good start (3 years younger than Edler). Edler is a good defenseman but as far quality is concerned Gagner is equally as impacting a player as Edler is. What type of package do you think the Canucks can realistically receive for an A. Edler trade? Also, both players have similar cap hits but A. Edler is under contract for 3 more years over Gagner (6 total)… you’re taking a top defenseman and moving him for a top center with similar cap hits.

    • @BBruins: Well said. Edler for Gagner is hardly laughable. It makes sense for both teams. Doubt these 2 teams make a deal but it addresses the needs on both sides. My fellow Canuck fans are getting “Leaf Fever” by over valuing our roster.

    • I think the Canucks would have to add something to the trade to make it happen IMO anyway.

      • Canucks need a physical scoring winger, not a soft center.

        If they were to trade for a center, it would be a third-line defensive center with faceoff abilities to replace Santorelli, who is injured. Santorelli played above expectations and I think he’ll be re-signed in the off-season.

        • ROR a soft a center?

        • Agreed. Vancouver needs to get younger and bigger, Gagner fulfills the youth part but he’s unbelievably soft on the puck and terrible on the dot too. And I doubt his wingers in Van would be thrilled at having to constantly cover for him as he cheats for offense. Not happening.

          Vancouver should be looking at Florida, specifically Shawn Matthias. He’d be a great fit as the 3rd line C.

  8. It’s really nice for all these sports writers and telecasters to slot TRADES but why not that a CAP reality check prior to these “possibles?” It is possible the Penquins trade Crosby to.
    I just don’t understand how these folks can prescribe say Vanek for the Kings (LOOK AT THE CAP) – they would have to be trading a rostered player back to even attempt to fit his contract!
    (Does anyone here think that the Isles just want to TAKE back a guy like Justin Williams just say they got “something?”)
    UNLESS the tean trading FOR Vanek or any of these other “impact” forwards gets BACK on of the best prospects (not the mid & low end ones we saw bandied about last year for Jagr & Iginila) why, tell me why the Isle go that route?
    Why not just demand the most picks you can find some sucker to take so you continue to build with your own guys?
    …and just tell me why Mouslon had to go…because to me he is an easier deadline asset.

  9. What a major disappointment in Callahan. Sorry buddy, but if you think that you are worth that much then GTFO. Win a f’ing Cup, or at least get into the Finals, before ever considering such a demand.

    This is a shameful request by Callahan and i want the press to be in his face every damn day to nail him on this.

    Now, do the Rangers trade him now? No. Do they trade his rights on draft day? You bet. I want this guy gone unless he comes back to earth and actually does something for the team to turn into a winner rather than requesting a ridiculous amount that will limit the Rangers cap to build a winner.

    See ya Cally. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    • Totally agree. Let him walk if he wants to waste the rest of his career in Buffalo. In the meantime don’t mess with chemistry and go for the cup.

      • I agree, But I say let him go now. Let him be a distraction somewhere else. He is no game changer. Bring in someone more suited for AV’s up tempo style. He can take his ridiculous demands elsewhere. I’m sorry, I like the guy, but I don’t like him at the ridiculous price tag he wants for the next 7 years.

      • How would he be wasting rest of his career in Buffalo?

        • I can’t say he’d be wasting his career in Buffalo, But I think they are 4-5 years away from being any real threat in the east. I know they have a lot of young talent/ prospects, but it is impossible to know how those prospects turn out. Right now they are sellers not buyers, which is usually not attractive to UFA’s looking for long term deals. I don’t know if Callahans body outlasts the rebuild process in Buffalo.

          • I have to disagree with that simply because the east is very weak, they could be a playoff team in the next couple years easy.

          • Not so sure the East isn’t on an upswing. You have Pitts, Boston who are obviously the 2 top teams. Then Philly, Tampa, Toronto, NYR,will be solid playoff teams imo. Then teams like CBJ, NJ, Ottawa, Detroit, Washington, that may need work over the next few years, but are bubble teams. Then you have NYI, Buffalo, Florida. All teams that need much improvement. Montreal I put somewhere in the middle of playoff team, and a team that may need some work to be a real contender. I just cannot see Buffalo leap frogging 6-7-8 teams in the next couple of years from today. Buffalo has a lot of cap space this year and a lot of young talent. I think it would be an outside possibility of them landing enough Fa’s to help them in the next 2-3 years. And they cannot plan on every prospect maturing or become solid NHL guys in that time frame.

  10. About the NJ Devils, anybody knows when their deadline to give away a 1st round pick for the Kovalchuk contract is? Having to part with your 1st should be a problem when it is time to trade and part whit a 2nd round pick or a 3rd. Thanks!

    • They had to give up their 1st this year. It was the final year so they couldn’t push it off any longer.

      • Thanks for the update!
        No 1st, no Kovalchuk… That hurts! 😀

    • I believe they had 3 years and this is the last one so it must be forfeited. Everyone thought lamarello was crazy not to give it up when they went to the cup finals. Maybe he wasn’t so crazy as this year he dad isn’t supposed to be a deep one

      • Genius or lucky? Always hard to tell but you are right, the timing is not bad… It still hurts!

    • They don’t have to deal the pick. It’s automatically forfeited. Sucks ass for the Devils since they really don’t have much on the prospects side of things.

  11. Stingy with cashmoney in critical areas when throwing money around in others. The Rangers are headed back to the 1998 business model that punished me for a decade.

    • I wouldn’t say that they are being stingy on the Callahan deal at all. I think Callahan is asking for way too much money and length of term. Sather cannot cave to unrealistic demands. Callahan needs to to back down a little on the money and at least 2-3 years on the length. Otherwise we will end up having the 6 million dollar man playing on the 4th line in 4 years. Sounds like a slightly cheaper version of the Chris Drury deal to me.

      • Agreed, it’s easy to end up with deals like Clarkson or Richardson or Luongo where you later realize you can’t even trade the guy. Great for the guy, bad for the team.

  12. Would be nice to see a decent trade this week so that we can get a rough idea of what the going rate will be for rentals at the trade deadline.

  13. Someone proposed Edler for Gagner…I don’t think it’s a bad trade. What would you think about Edler for Ryan O’Rielly? Colorado gets a defenceman they need, and they don’t have to worry about coughing up the cash to resign O’Rielly. Which the Canucks can do in their sleep with the cap going up. And what do you think it would take to pry Evander Kane outta Winnipeg? Draft pick and prospects? Roster players? Any thoughts?

    • What else would the Canucks be sending Colorado’s way if this was to go down? I doubt you’d get ROR straight up for Edler.

    • I think O’Reilly stays in Colorado, especially the way he’s been playing. That team could be dangerous in the playoffs. Stastny’s a more likely candidate to be moved but I think they’ll stand pat and enjoy the ride.

      • agree, ROR would cost more than just Edler and don’t think he’d mesh well with the team. I like Edler for Parenteau as he’s under a decent contract for another 1 or 2 years. A playmaking winger (who can also score) to play with Kesler. Buy out Booth and go after Moulson in the offseason and/or see how Shinkarut(sp?) does.

        • How far is Hunter Shinkaruk from the NHL?

          Ever since Booth signed that contract with the Panthers he’s been getting worse and worse. He’s basically a nobody now.

  14. Obviously Vanek is headed for the Wild.

    • @Jes, I’m glad you have inside information on Vanek, lol, if that truly were to happen the Wild would be in tremendous shape for a cup run in the next couple years. We still need a better top 4 D man too.

  15. I really don’t get why the Kings would even consider Just Ganger he’s not a great scorer if anything I see the kings maybe moving Richards & Toffoli for Ganger and Eberle that would make more sense the kings need a winger and Ganger would fill in that the 2nd line center position …Oilers need leadership (Richards) plus they get a young high end prospect in Toffoli that will probably put up better numbers in the Oilers system !

  16. I really don’t get why the Kings would even consider Just Ganger he’s not a great scorer if anything I see the kings maybe moving Richards & Toffoli for Ganger and Eberle that would make more sense the kings need a winger and Ganger would fill in that the 2nd line center position …Oilers need leadership (Richards) plus they get a young high end prospect in Toffoli that will probably put up better numbers in the Oilers system ! Plus going after Vanek would cost us to much and he doesn’t fit Kings style of play.

  17. I did read somewhere where the Wild may not be interested in Vanek. Maybe he wants Stanley Cup glory. Snow should be fired if he does not get a good return for him.

  18. Ducks need to add another high profile scorer. They are playing great but they still might struggle when you get locked into a series with Chicago or the blues. Vanek could put them over the top and they have surplus parts to rent him.

    To ducks: vanek, macdonald, isles retains some salary.
    To isles: palmieri, andersson, 2nd round pick.

    Canucks could do well dealing with the Avs. Edler for parenteau and Elliott. Parenteau isn’t young put is a proven scorer for the wing and Elliott is a solid d prospect. Gives some cap room too. Canucks could then try and move burrows to a playoff team like the pens for a pick or d prospect.

    • Make it a first and it would seem a little more realistic imo.

  19. To Pitt..Vanek and a third rounder

    To Islanders..Kris” OVERATED ” Letang and Simon Depres and a second rounder


  20. Say what you want about Reiger he left the cupboard full of prospects and draft picks, not to mention what more will be obtained from anyone traded from the current vets!
    I say, with proper patience and coaching they could be on the threshold of a dynasty!!