NHL Morning Rumor Mill for Friday, July 19, 2013.

An update on Mikhail Grabovski, the latest on the Oilers and Red Wings,  and a list of the top available unrestricted free agents.

No KHL for Mikhail Grabovski.

No KHL for Mikhail Grabovski.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Jason Brough cited a tweet from Yahoo! Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov claiming former Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski wants to sign with an NHL team, having rejected the one offer he received from a KHL club. Brough suggested Winnipeg might be a good destination, as they could use depth at center following the departure of Alexander Burmistrov to the KHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That shouldn’t be surprising. Grabovski gave no indication the KHL was an option. One reason he hasn’t landed a contract yet is he was on his honeymoon, as the Leafs bought him out the day before his wedding, which coincidentally was July 5, when this year’s UFA market began. The Jets could be interested, but it’ll depend on what Grabovski’s asking price. He won’t get over $5 million per season. Indeed, because of his buyout, he might have to accept half that.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples reports a recent poll of Oilers fans (71 percent) feel new GM Craig MacTavish hasn’t done enough to improve the club. Staples notes questions linger at every position, as well as the endless trade speculation about Ales Hemsky.  Jim Matheson, meanwhile, believes the Oilers bringing back Denis Grebeshkov could make Corey Potter trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Staples pointed out, MacTavish has tried to move Hemsky this summer but so far hasn’t found any takers. Trading Hemsky isn’t impossible, but given his $5 million salary for next season, his lengthy injury history, the declining salary cap and the glut of second-tier talent remaining in the UFA market, moving him remains difficult. They could have an easier time moving Potter.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis reports the Detroit Red Wings have an excess of forwards and would like to move one. Willis believes veterans Todd Bertuzzi, Mikael Samuelsson and Jordin Tootoo could be available, as could perhaps Patrick Eaves. He also wondered if a rival club could convince the Wings to part with one of their young forwards, like Justin Abdelkader, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, and Joakim Andersson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings won’t part with those four younger forwards. Indeed, GM Ken Holland recently said he’d have Nyquist and Andersson re-signed before the start of training camp.

TORONTO SUN: Lists Grabovski, Ilya Bryzgalov, Jaromir Jagr, Brenden Morrow, Damien Brunner, Mason Raymond, Simon Gagne, Vinny Prospal, Teemu Selanne and Rick DiPietro as the top remaining UFAs.


  1. Rick Dipietro??? Top remaining UFAs???

    Ricky finally made a top 10 list that wasnt top 10 overpaid busts, top 10 injury riddled athletes, or top 10 hockey fight knockouts? Hmm seems he is really doing well since the buy out.

    • If ANYONE sign Dipietro, they should be fired on the spot. Even a two way minimum salary contract for one year would be completely insane.

      I take that back. If your NHL team’s plane crashes into your minor league’s team training facilities and you lose both, then MAYBE a two way one year contract at minimum salary MIGHT make some kind of sense.

      Nothing against the guy personally but please….

      • “Nothing against DiPietro personally but please….

        LOL!!! I would say you are totally against with your response. 😉

  2. I got to disagree someone will give Grabo at least 3-3.5 to play in their top 6 too many teams need offense for him not to get it, Derek Roy got 4 Grabo will get almost as much, cant see him having to take 2.5.

    • Grabo should sign a 2 year at $3 mill and then look to extend when the cap goes up there after …he really should just look to play in the NHL and improve his game and take the opportunity to play with quality players in quality situations and the rest should take care of itself ….he had a good pay day now just go out and earn the rest !!!!

      • Thats $3million per season at 2 years …….why the capitals haven’t signed him to play with Backstrum and Ovie is a missed opportunity for the caps …IMO …he can play wing and help out at Center on that line to mix it up like they are doing Vinnie in Philly
        I think this is exactly the player they need to replace Riebiero

    • agreed

      • Grabo’s worth $3.5M all day long

        • Perhaps but most games are played at in the evenings :)

          • Best reply ever……

          • It was actually

    • He will sign for 3 to 3.5mil somewhere….

  3. I would put Thomas ahead of DiPietro.I always liked Prospal,Winnipeg or the Islanders would be a good destination for him.

  4. Agreed with both of the first 2 responses with Shticky. DiPietro will be an AHL goalie if he’s lucky. Grabo will fetch at least 3-3.5M a year on a 2 year deal.
    Other than Winnipeg I can see Calgary, Florida, Ottawa, Washington, and maybe Minnesota + Vancouver (cheap first year, bulk of contract 2nd year due to cap concern) as potential new teams for Grabovski

  5. the only way dipi makes 10 on my list is if it’s a list of the top 9. take the money and run. never pick up another skate. don’t even look at a contract. that paper cut might be fatal!

  6. Calgary, Minnesota,Washington, Winnipeg, Tampa and Florida could all use a significant upgrade at second line centre which bodes well for Grabovski. However I cannot imagine any team offering anything more than 4 million a year, and I personally think he will be lucky if anyone offers him more than 3 million, if only because he is sitting on a serious payout right now. He may have to take a short term, lower amount in exchange for a chance to prove he can bounce back while playing in his proper slot ( # 2 centre) and then negotiate up from there. I think Washington is the best fit. They have 5,665,705 to sign a depth forward, and a depth defenseman, and have a glaring opportunity to fill that second line centre spot. If they are willing to spend to the cap, or close to it, and can get the depth forward, and depth defenseman for a combined 2 to 2.2 million, it leaves them up to almost 3.5 to sign Grabo.

    • His new bride will have a say in where he signs. I thought Detroit was a shoe in to get Grabo due to his wife’s Windsor connections and the close proximity to Toronto but that ship has sailed.

    • Agree with all points except TB. They’ve banked on Filpulla centering their 2nd line.
      Also, the payout he’s receiving from Toronto bears no weight in counter-negotiations from a new team. Look at Lecavalier’s payout and new contract as an example.


    • Don’t hold your breath.

    • I heard he was playing in the old timers mens league in Colorado on a team called the Chick Fil A Militia.
      Should check them out I heard their nuts.

  8. As much as I would love for the Canucks to grab Grabo, they wont when they need to sign Tanev, and sign a 6/7 D to possibly replace Andrew Alberts. I read somewhere they are looking at possibly signing Fistric, who is younger than Alberts. Failing to sign Tanev, they could trade his rights and then sign both Alberts and Fistric which will give them two big D-men that love to hit, and are unafraid to stick up for their team mates.

  9. Now that Duchene just inked $6M per where does that leave the Leafs with Kadri. $4M.. $4.5M???

    • This is the first piece to fall. Now a bunch of other players have a bench mark for what they will sign for. Kahdri and Hodgeson to start.

      • oops spelling issues. sorry

    • I hope Nonis signs him to a one or two year “prove yourself in a full season” contract. $3-3.5 Million tops.
      Something tells me his numbers won’t be as impressive next year, partly because I don’t think he’s still in the Gary Roberts training program (which he was last off-season) and is probably a big reason behind his fitness level.

      • Im kinda iffy on next year for Kadri. On one hand the “sophemore slump” happens to many on the other hand he has now tasted some success will be confident and if Clarkson does come in and play well man is that a good group of top 4 wingers, Kadri will get a tone of room if he is between Lupul or JVR and Clarkson, tough call on Kadri for me.

    • Thing is Duchene way more proven then Kadri and its a 5 year deal, kind of puts Kadri and his agent in a tough spot say they do want 4mill per you really want to sign a 5year or longer deal when if you took a shorter bridge type deal say 2 years at 3 mill you might be up for a lot more money depending on how you play and where the cap goes to in a few years? Duchenes deal helps the Leafs more then Kadri.

      • Agreed Duchene and Kane have more time in the NHL and that shortened season screwed things up when you have Kadri doing as well or better then Kane and Duchene last season. Those guys are bench marks but the big question is the term. If you do two years at a reduced rate of say $3.5M and he has a 30 goal 70pt second half on his two year contract suddenly you are having to sign him for crazy (Kessel) money in the $7M range as he turns 24-25yrs old. Maybe five years at $4M is the ticket? Chancy? Yep big time

        • You can’t really compare duchene and kadri as this is duchenes secondrfa contract the first one he signed was the team discounted prove yourself 2 year deal which is exactlywhat kadri should be signing.

        • “Maybe five years at $4M is the ticket? Chancy? Yep big time.”

          Based on what you wrote it would be a steal, no? 5 years at 4mil?? 😉

          • Only if he makes that leap and can produce 30g 70pts this year or next but if he was a one year flash in the pan then the Leafs would be screwed for 5 years. Another Grabo situation

    • Leafs will overpay as always to keep their own. Kadri will sign for 25mil/5 year deal. 😉

      • Don’t see why they would sign him for 5 years at 5 million a season. He has no leverage and should sign a 2 year deal similar that Subban did. Play at that level for two seasons then you get the long term deal.

        Duchene isn’t a good comparison. Played longer at a high level and is arguably a franchise center. Kadri hasn’t proven that…yet.

  10. Slow, hot day in Philly. Nothing to report. Waiting for October….

    October cannot come soon enough.

  11. I thought Brunner signed with Anaheim. Agree crazy Thomas before Dipietro.
    I would take Jagr but not sure his body will make it through a full season.
    I would give him a incentive based on number of games played.

  12. I said Grabo to Buffalo a while ago. He needs to lower his price to 3-3.5. For a deal to happen.

    Next possibility is he signs with Washington then MacT trades for him and sells his accomplishment to the fans.

    Kadri is saying all the right things but it could get nasty. Sign a PK Subban type deal your payday is coming.

  13. Way to go NHL you picked 3 of the most boring and predictable division names possible and 1 thats just goofy sounding…. The Metropolitan division? gaah must be Garry’s idea…stupid stupid stupid

  14. “I always liked Prospal,Winnipeg or the Islanders would be a good destination for him.”

    No room on NYI roster for Prospal…

  15. I’d like to see Edmonton get Tootoo. An upgrade on Brown, has heart, really gritty and would bring some nastiness for the Oilers bottom 6, IMO.