NHL Morning Rumor Mill – February 6, 2013.

Could the Flames shop for a replacement for Miikka Kiprusoff? What’s the latest on Roberto Luongo and Ryan O’Reilly. Are the Senators in the trade market? What about the Sabres? Read on to find out.

Injured Kiprusoff could force  Flames into the trade market.

Injured Kiprusoff could force Flames into the trade market.

CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports the lower body injury suffered by Miikka Kiprusoff during the Flames 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings could force them to seek a short-term replacement. They were already seeking goaltending depth after dealing away Henrik Karlsson a few weeks ago and currently have no North American-based goalies under contract.

Francis doubts the Flames would rely on current backup Leland Irving if Kiprusoff is sidelined longer than a week or two. He suggests the Ottawa Senators as an obvious trade target, as it’s believed Ben Bishop is available, but Francis doubts the Flames are willing to part with the asking price of a second round pick. He also dismisses any suggestion the Flames could get into the bidding for Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Kiprusoff is out for longer than two weeks, it could be the death blow to their playoff hopes. They could have little choice but make a pitch for Bishop. The Senators were in the market for blueline depth, so perhaps the Flames could offer up Anton Babchuk or Chris Butler. Speaking of the Senators….

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray has been checking out the NHL trade market to see what’s available but so far hasn’t found much to his liking. Garrioch cites sources claiming it could take another week before the trade market loosens up as the gap between playoff contenders and pretenders widens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The automatic assumption is Murray would seek a short-term replacement for the injured Jason Spezza, but if Kyle Turris and other centers in their lineup adjust, there could be no need to fill that gap. Murray could still have an eye open for an affordable blueline pickup.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Bruce Dowbiggin lists the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers as possible destinations for Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. He also acknowledged the possibility Luongo might not be dealt this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Capitals GM George McPhee recently dismissed rumors linking him to Luongo, claiming he can’t take on the goalie’s contract. Offense has been a bigger issue for the struggling Panthers. The Leafs are getting good goaltending from James Reimer of late, and their pressing need is for another scoring forward, preferably a center. Ilya Bryzgalov is among the few bright spots for the Flyers so far this season, so there’s no need for them to chase Luongo now. As with Florida and Toronto, scoring is a bigger issue for the Flyers.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman offered up his take on Stephen Weiss’ status with the Florida Panthers…He suggests the Canucks and Roberto Luongo could have a change of plans over the latter’s trade status, but believes GM Mike Gillis can’t change the plan now unless both sides (including Cory Schneider) are 100 percent comfortable in doing so…The Buffalo Sabres carry eight defenseman and there are teams seeking blueliners, but Sabres GM Darcy Regier isn’t in any hurry to move one of them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Panthers GM Dale Tallon has dismissed trade rumors about Weiss, stating the intent is to re-sign him…Luongo may be playing well but I don’t believe that changes his trade status. Schneider is younger, more affordable and makes more sense for the future. Luongo might not be moved this season, but he could certainly be shopped this summer…Regier can’t move any blueliners right now due to injuries, but given how his club is struggling offensively and in the face 0ff circle, he may have to consider that option if things don’t improve in a few weeks.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports Ryan O’Reilly’s agents spoke with Colorado Avalanche management yesterday. So far, however, there’s no sense of progress in the chilly negotiations between the two sides.


  1. I wouldn’t waste my time even talking about the Sabres. This team is stuck being a crappy average team with flashes of greatness. The owner loves the two guys running the show and won’t replace either of them. Darcy is not going to make a trade. He will wait until its too late to make a move with either a player or the coach. Players have come out publicly and off the record to say they don’t want to play for this team. What do they expect??

    Another season will be lost…and the streak of no cups will continue for the foreseeable future.
    (sorry for the rant)

    • I agree. If they really want to make a move, trade Ehrhoff. You will get the most bang for your buck with him and this team desperately needs forwards that can score – and a new coach.

    • Not doing anything to get better will not win the Sabres a Stanley Cup.

      Darcy Regier and Lindy Ruff have been General Manager and Head Coach for 16 years. Twelve clubs, excluding the Sabres, have won 16 Stanley Cup championships. While other clubs make move at the top to win, the Sabres have remained constant with the dynamic duo. Several things are not working.

      If I was Darcy Regier, I will trade an outgoing defenseman and someone mediocre to land my point producing, playmaking first line center. Trades would be done sooner than later.

      If I was Lindy Ruff, I may want to change my system.

  2. Leafs should offer up Bozak and a condtional pick for O’Reilly. Condtional based on Bozak resigning with them

    • I was actually thinking the same thing. But wasn’t sure if bozak would be enough. Does colorado really have any leverage here in a trade since it is an unsigned player? I know it is a young controllable player they are dealing but its an unsigned one or one unwilling to play for colorado. But even if oreilly isn’t a true #1 center he is an upgrade over bozak and definitly someone a small team could use.

  3. Wouldn’t it make sense for Gillis to swing a deal with Tampa Bay?
    Luongo wants to go back to Florida because his wife is from there, and there’s not a massive media spot-light.
    Lindback has been ok, but nothing special between the pipes for TB.
    I’m not overly familiar with TB’s cap and no-trade clauses but this would make sense to me:
    To Van: 2nd round draft, and any one of the following: Hall,Pouliot, Aulie, Lee or Garon
    or Pouliot, Aulie and Garon
    To TB: Luongo and a bag of pucks

    • Look at TB’s record.

      No, it doesn’t make sense. When they’re below .500 (count wins vs. BOTH L and OT), they might reconsider.

    They should be starting a bidding war with teams for Kipper against Gillis and Luongo …why Feaster hasn’t seen this is beyond me …this would be the perfect time to trade Kipper he is much more mangeable in every aspect of his contract and is eaqualy as good as Luongo ….Feaster would get a very handsome return which they desperatley need to do and rebuild!

    Ben Bishop is not the answer thats for sure !! I think you might be suprised with leland Irving …he has very good pedigree and has spent hi time preparing for this moment …I think they are sitting on a gem with Irving, he should’t have any issue helping this team get buy a stretch …plus feaster can’t part with much he needs to keep any talent he has. Leland should do just fine …IMO

    Tuirris and Zibinajed should fill in nicely and it will give them an popportunity to move forward in ther development which Ottawa needs them to do ..right now!! These are the guys who will fill those roles anyways …its time for it to happen !! They will need to step up !!!

    Ben Scrivens and Reimer have played very decent for the Leafs …Leafs need size on top two lines not Luongo at this point !! Id rather see the leafs see what they can do in the strong UFA this summer by saving that money ….and turning it into goal production and dictating the play …..filling a Goalie spot is not the # 1 need at this juncture!!

    I don’t see Gillis trading for Weis ……hes waiting for the right deal …Weis is a UFA what if he trades Luongo and WEis does’t resign but rather tests the open market ( which he will and should ) then Gillis ends up with nothing for Luongo …..and thats exactly what he doesnt want and why he is waiting !! If Weis resigns with the Panthers he will most likely ionclude another no trade as well so it won’t be a sign and trade thats for sure !! He would only sign to stay !!!!

    need to move on the centerman position is a very hot market they can get a very high quality peice or peices for this guy and get NHL ready players in there line up to help them right away !!!
    Not sure why they are keeping this whole in there line up when they are injury riddled !!

    Avs and Ottawa or Leafs would be great trade partners right now!!

    • It’s not a bidding war if there’s more than one goalie available, it’s the opposite. A bidding war is when there’s only one available and everyone wants it. A diminished value means “Oh if you won’t trade me Lu, I’ll go to the Flames for Kipper” and will diminish the value of both goaltenders until one of them gets moved.

      ie, putting Kipper on the market will screw Gillis, but won’t raise the value of Kipper.

      • I believe that Feaster is not a complete idiot and probably does realize that he could get some great dividends for Kipper and screw a rival team. As to why he hasn’t, i cant speak for Feaster, or tell you what he is thinking, but i can speculate that it could be that Kipper wins games for the Flames (or at least he used to) and has proven time again that he is worth every dollar paid, if you move Kipper, you are also left with a very shallow pool of goaltenders to chose from (unless there is a goaltender sent in return, which still would not add up to the caliber that Kipper is). Kipper moves there is no way to replace him, unlike Vancouver’s situation, where both Scnieder and Luongo are great goaltenders and should one part ways Vancouver would still have a solid starter. Not that I am discounting Irving or writing him off, because I am not, he is playing his first full season as the Flames back up and still needs to get that experience under his belt before becoming #1.

        I could see Feaster perhaps doing something in the off season or next season, when Kari Ramo will be available to join the Flames and perhaps starting the long delayed rebuild that is soo sorely needed. But for right now, moving Kipper and competing with Gillis and Luongo is just not the right move or direction to go.

        One other aspect that could be why Feaster has not offered Kipper as trade bait and compete with Luongo and Gillis is simply out of professional courtesy, while both are divisional rivals, what makes the rivalry so entertaining is the product on the ice and seeing both teams compete, having 2 of the best premier goaltenders in the league in the same division and playing against each other regularly is amazing as well it drives ticket sales for both teams when they play each other.
        But again this is all speculation on my part and maybe Feaster is just that dumb and doesn’t see it but i am inclined to think he does and is simply being smart about it.And i am simply offering a perspective from one of many Flames fans.

    • whew.. and backchecking.. please.. ATTEMPT spelling, or even using other punctuation rather than !!!!!!!

      A Painful Read.

      • Thank you Captian Fancy Pants, ill be sure to apply that the next time

      • +1

  5. Well i think that Buffalo needs a new gm bad deals and bad trades have hancuffed that team.I dont think anyone gets dealt in Vancouver till the end of the season.I also dont think they are going to get alot for Luongo.Look at what the Blue Jackets got for Nash.I dont think Weiss leaves florida unless he wants out.Washington needs to get some players for Ovi.He needs a good number one center,just what the Leafs need also.Is there any truth to the rumours that boston is looking to move Krejci.And what be the return for a player of his stature.

    • I have no problems with Regier. He has done an excellent job IMO. The problem originates further down…like Ruff.

  6. It’s a well known fact that the Leafs have needed a 1st line center since Kessel got to town. Ryan O’Reilly would be just what the doctor ordered for the Leafs. No team needs a solid player down the middle more than Toronto. A solid two-way playmaking center who can develop into a player like Mike Richards. I wouldn’t trade away young players for Luongo, but I would for the 21 year old O’Reilly. Leafs and Nonis need to get this done.

    • The problem with Kessel scoring goals is that Kessel is not scoring goals. He’s getting his scoring chances and his shots, but he’s the one that’s messing up.

      Why do I say this? He’s first in the league in shots right now and that doesn’t count all the iron he’s smithing. While linemates would give him more room, maybe, you can’t really complain about linemates if you’re not making the most of your scoring opportunities. Get new linemates when you get no shots.

    • I agree, and I doubt Colorado would ask for a kings-ransom. But with O’Reilly being such a stud for Colorado, would Colorado be more inclined in taking offers on Statsny? Then then can re-sign O’Rielly a lot easier. Maybe give him the max years at $5M per = $40M. Then make this trade:

      To Toronto: Statsny
      To Colorado: Bozak + Phaneuf + 2nd Rounder

      The reason I keep offering up Bozak, is because I think he is the easiest expendable player for Nonis. Kadri has become, I think an untouchable and Toronto really has nobody to offer at Center that has value. Well, there is Grabovski, he isn’t going anywhere, because his salary just doesn’t match up with his production.


    Schneider is only more affordable than Luongo by $1.3M. Schneider’s salary is $4M to Luongo’s $5.3M. Schneider is only under contract through the 2014-2015 season. So in two years, Schneider may be commanding a contract larger than Luongo’s.

    So then look at the ages of the rest of the roster. The Sedin sisters are 32, Kessler 28, Burrows 31, Bieksa 31, Hamhuis 30, and Ballard 30.

    Summary: The Canucks have a two to four year window to win a cup. After two years, their roster will be aging and after four years their roster will be old. The Canucks should do whatever move best makes sense for them to win a cup within the next four years.

  8. JDBIGC- Whether it’s two or its four years same rules apply trade Luongo HE WILL NOT WIN A CUP. Come playoff time he will do his best Houdini impression just like always. Schneider deserves the opportunity without constantly looking over his shoulder. Loungo had that and could not put it together.

    I like the O’Reilly to Toronto idea. Only thing is unless the Avs are looking for D the Leafs can’t afford to send forwards back in return.

    • As much of a jerk move it would be, Nonis should consider sending an offer sheet to O’Reilly. Take a chance on what appears to be a future stud Centre

    • @ Vinnie

      Remember though that Schneider was put in last year against the Kings in the first round, and Vancouver still got bounced in 5. I’m not sure whether Schneider or Luongo gives the Canucks a better chance at winning now.

      I do think that in terms of a return, Schneider would probably bring in a bigger return. Luongo’s NTC and long-term contract probably leave only a handful of teams that would seriously be interested. A team like Columbus or Calgary might want a Schnieder as a long-term goalie, but I can’t see either being interested in Luongo.

      But I read a lot of sentiment that Luongo is going and Schneider is staying, and that’s that. If Vancouver has that mentality, it may end up being a mistake. Luongo is playing well right now, so I would imagine his value is increasing.

      • JDBigC is exactly right.
        Van’s lack of scoring and the failure of their PP (not only not scoring but allowing SHGs) was their downfall vs. Boston and LA. They need playoff warrior like a Clowe, Laich, at al. Playoff series are won by 3rd and 4th lines (Bos, NJ, LA, all had good supporting casts). If they make a trade, that’s what they need IMO.

  9. @ MJRI

    Actually it does create a bidding war …..the players are the same quality but the contracts are the sticking point for Luongo …teams that may not pony up to get Luongo may do so for Kipper due to the $$$ exchange and players added ….there is only 2 of these elite goalies on the market ..you drive up the price for each of them when you compete with the same two teams in the deal !!

    Some teams might be willing to crack and give that extra key piece in for Kipper that they wouldn’t for Luongo !! Feaster can capitalize on that and get the better deal with the teams that are interested in Luongo …hence bringing down the value of Luongo and increasing the price on kipper ,,,,soley based on contract alone!!

  10. After watching the Sens skate circles around the Sabres defense last night I doubt Buffalo will be able to move any of them. As a realist Sens fan I’m certain it wasn’t our world beater forwards – but rather an AWFUL defense. Sad how far Tyler Myers has fallen. Reminds me of the Islanders nearly ruining Chara’s career. Coaching\learning doesn’t stop once you get to the NHL. But for Myers it appears it has. He needs a good steady experienced partner and he needs to check his ego and get back to progressing not regressing. He’s turning into Bouwmeister part deux.

    • That big contract is crushing him.

  11. The flames will only shop for a short term replacement if Kipper is out for longer than 2 weeks, it does not make sense just yet to hit the panic button, since as of right now we do not know the extent of his injury. And i do agree with backchecking on Irving, I believe he will surprise a lot of the critics. It looks like the Flames have signed Danny Taylor to a 2 way one year contract and will be joining the team in Columbus. and Kipper has been listed as day to day which is a relief for flames fans.

  12. O’Reilly is not the 1st line center the leafs need. If they can get him for cheap perhaps he’s worth a try. If I’m the Leafs, I would try and see what it would take to get Corey Perry from ANA, even if that means Kessel going the other way.

    • Even though Perry is not a centerman?

  13. I can’t believe Bruce Dowbiggin actually got paid to write that article. Literally all he did was take what virtually every NHL reporter has been reporting for months and repeat it word for word. I know hacky hockey journalists do this all the time but it still always amazes me how lazy they are.

  14. @ Hawks 4 life

    I would have to humbly disagree with you …..sorry!!
    Id say that O’Riely is EXACTLY what the leafs need ….
    there isn’t another legit # 1 center man available on any other team that is young and can grow with a nulceous of the team and get better !!…If there is I hope the Leafs know who he is??

    • Part of the problem here is that the Leafs insist on using guys whose ceilings are a no. 2 centre on most good teams in the league as their no. 1 guy.

      Objectively, O’Reilly is a good gritty kid who will probably put up 55-65 pts a year, but he’s a no. 2 guy at best, or no. 3 on team already deep at C. Leafs should be looking hard at Anaheim and going after Getzlaf or Perry, not giving up a bunch of young assets for O’Reilly.

      • The only way the Leafs would get either or both those players before they become UFA’s, is if they offer up a deal that likely handcuffs them in standings. I guess that can be good, in acquiring McKinnon. But Toronto/Nonis would likely have to give up:

        To Toronto: Perry + Getzlaf
        To Anaheim: Kessel + Kadri + Frattin + Colborne + Gunnarsson + Phaneuf

        Do that, or wait to see if Perry and Getz don’t get re-signed, and HOPE…PRAY….that they can sign them as UFA’s. But then you’re up against other teams like: Columbus, Minnesota, Dallas, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Florida, Islanders, and everyother team that doesn’t have 2-3 solid lines.

      • Who are these 55-65 pt 3rd lines you speak of?

  15. Gillis is in no rut. Luongo is proving that he is their #1 goaltender, while Schneider and his agent are proving that they are not. I’m betting that Gillis is pissed at how Schneider’s agent is handling this, and will be getting the green light to trade Schneider for a youthful centerman and backup for Luongo. Nobody in the League wants Luongo’s contract, but they want Luongo’s net presence. They can’t have both, unless they’re idiots for taking on that contract. Anyway, who out there needs a Schneider and can provide a centerman and backup in return? Toronto, Florida, Tampa Bay. So now, who can best put together a tasteful package for Gillis to accept? Rememebr that Vancouver only has currently $840K in available cap space.

    To Toronto: Schneider ($4M)
    To Vancouver: Bozak ($1.5M) + Scrivens ($612K) + 2nd Round Draft Pick

    To Florida: Schneider
    To Vancouver: Theodore ($1.5M) + Shore ($1.1M)

    To Tampa Bay: Garon ($1.3M) + Conacher ($925K) + 2nd Round Draft Pick

    • *
      To Tampa Bay: Schneider ($4M)
      To Vancouver: Garon ($1.3M) + Conacher ($925K) + 2nd Round Draft Pick

      • If I’m Tampa no way I do that trade. Lindbeck(sp?) is playing well and concacher? He’s looking like a Calder favourite.

  16. Even if you’re not a Canucks fan, it makes absolutely NO SENSE to blame Luongo for that Stanley Cup loss. There was no scoring, and no muscle. To say Schneider deserves ‘his shot’ because Lu already had ‘his shot’ doesn’t make sense! He’s still a great goalie, and if you’re a coach, you play the guy who gives you the best chance to win. In the playoffs, you ice the ‘line up’ that gives you the best chance to win. A goalie can’t score. Right now, the Canucks need to score more goals. As do ALOT of teams!

  17. I’m guessing a lot of GM’s who might be interested in Luongo will probably want to wait, get their necessary UFA’s and RFA’s re-signed, make their amnesty buyouts, and re-assess their cap situation before bringing in such a contract. For this reason I really think we’ll have to wait for the summer before Luongo is dealt.

    Here are some potential buyout candidates from around the league: http://nhlkvasni.blogspot.ca/

  18. I hope the sens piick up weiss