NHL Morning Rumor Mill – January 14, 2014.

Latest on the Jets, Senators, Sharks, Sabres, Penguins and Coyotes, plus updates on Thomas Vanek, Ryan O’Reilly and Ales Hemsky

Could the Jets trade Evander Kane & Dustin Byfuglien?

Could the Jets trade Evander Kane & Dustin Byfuglien?

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports as the cap rises, teams are interested in players under long-term contracts and the Jets have plenty of those in Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Tobias Enstrom, Evander Kane, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler and Zach Bogosian. Word is the younger the player the harder they will be to pry from the Jets. Enstrom is the oldest and highest paid. Friedman said if he was Jets GM he wouldn’t trade Kane unless the return was massive. He also wondered if Capitals coach Adam Oates would want a shot at coaching Byfuglien…New Sabres GM Tim Murray said there’s no untouchables on his team, but it would prove costly for any club interested in Zemgus Girgensons, Tyler Myers or Rasmus Ristolainen.

USA TODAY: Kevin Allen believes the Jets need more than a coaching change to turn things around. They’re not a rebuilding club so they don’t need a return of draft picks and prospects, and Winnipeg’s location and climate could prove difficult to attract top free agent talent. That leaves a trade, perhaps a blockbuster move involving Kane or Byfuglien.

NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough cited a recent interview by Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff in which he believes “we still need to acquire pieces to either establish a larger core, or maybe move some pieces that re-establish some different things,” adding “This is still a project that’s in the works.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds to me like Byfuglien could be the likely trade candidate. I agree with Friedman that if the Jets decide to trade Kane it had better be for a significant return, which should involve a young star forward as part of the return. I think Cheveldayoff will wait a few weeks and see how the Jets respond under Maurice before making a significant move.

CANADIAN PRESS (VIA YAHOO! SPORTS): Stephen Whyno reports Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray is exploring the trade market and ready to make a deal to help his resurgent club make the playoffs. He could be willing to move a young player who won’t get a chance to see much playing time on the Senators. Murray said Cody Ceci’s play has negated the earlier need for a puck-moving defenseman, and now seeks a scoring forward plus he’d like to add a physical element to the roster. Murray said he won’t move blue-chip prospect Curtis Lazar.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren reports Senators owner Eugene Melnyk has given Murray permission to pursue trade possibilities before and after the Olympic break leading up to the March 5 trade deadline. Their targets would be pending unrestricted free agents.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators do have depth in young players they can offer up to rebuilding clubs (hello there, Calgary Flames) for a playoff rental player, like Mike Cammalleri. Feel free to add your speculations in the comments section below.

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports there’s been initial contract discussions between the NY Islanders and Thomas Vanek’s agent, but both sides are waiting to see what direction the club goes in heading toward the Olympic break and the March trade deadline. Vanek said he’ll stay out of talks unless they get close to a deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s widely assumed Vanek will sign with the Minnesota Wild as a free agent, but it’s possible he could change his mind if the Islanders can convince him they’re poised to become a perennial playoff club.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan O’Reilly have mutually agreed to wait until this summer to discuss a new contract. O’Reilly is a restricted free agent at season’s end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite concerns over O’Reilly future with the Avs, I believe they intend to keep him. There’s a different group running this club now.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson wondered if rival clubs have noticed Ales Hemsky’s strong play this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m sure they have and there will be significant interest in Hemsky (provided he remains healthy) near the trade deadline.

CSNBAYAREA.COM: Kevin Kurz believes the San Jose Sharks are on the lookout for a scoring winger but doubts they make a move until the trade deadline. He also doubts they’ll make a blockbuster move for a big name winger. The Sharks have a pair of second round pick in this year’s draft they could use as trade bait.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg for the link. Sharks GM Doug Wilson is usually active near the trade deadline so I expect this year won’t be any different.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi reports the Penguins hope to audition Beau Bennett on Sidney Crosby’s left wing before deciding if they should deal for a replacement for Pascal Dupuis, but he’s still about four weeks away from returning. The Olympic break followed shortly by the trade deadline won’t leave much time to audition him. Rossi also reports Penguins GM Ray Shero hopes to add depth to his third line.

FOXSPORTS.COM: Craig Morgan reports help for the struggling Phoenix Coyotes might not until the trade deadline.

83 Comments

  1. I’ll say it now – Tobias Enstrom to Philly.
    Before everybody jumps on me this makes sense. Timonen isn’t getting any younger and Enstrom is a puck moving defensemen that the Flyers crave. His game and Timonen’s game are a lot alike and everybody knows how much the Flyers love Timonen. I’m not sure what the Peg will get in return or if this will happen but if Enstrom is available, I believe the Flyers will be all over it.

    • Not bad could be a smart move, I’m sure Buff wouldn’t be out of the question either but Buff and Streit on the same d corps would scare the hell out of me if I was a Flyer fan.

      • Just mentioning the possibility of Streit AND BYFUGLIEN on defense makes me want to slit my wrists! Please don’t give Paul Homegren any more crazy ideas!!!

      • Philly will need to move out around $ 4 million plus in a player to make it work with the money ….Enstrom is a $5.75 guy smaller player …you may have to give up a Voracek to make it work or 2 mid roster up and comers ….not sure that Philly will do that for a smaller player , when they just signed a similar player in Streit ….Byflugein is a better possibility as he can play power forward wing at times power play and a significant role in the crease protecting the net …he is $500,000 less and less 2 years as well on contract …that’s a big deal …if Enstrom doesn’t work out …your stuck for 5 years AGAIN !!! If you have to give up a quality player in Voracek at least BUFF can play some wing to replace him at times if they need to fill the position so it would be better to get him….IMHO.
        However Enstrom is a good PP guy and set up man nothing to take away from him ..but…for Philly BUFF is the better logner and shorter term FIX IMO

        Ryan ORiely is going no where unfortunately.

        Bryan Murray seems to always make quality safe trades that work out for him in the end …he Manages his roster very well and has a very good mix…he got blind sided with Alfredson and within minutes landed Bobby Ryan however he should have went for some size in the Bishop deal but in the end it only cost him a draft pick essentially!

        • The last thing the Flyers need is an overweight and unmotivated Buffy to screw things up and drag us down.

          I could see Enstrom or Bogosian going to the Flyers, and could see Hartnell going the other way. Picks can even out for either side.

          Simmonds plays such a similar role to Hartnell, is cheaper, and scores more..we don’t need 2 of these players.

          The Flyers would have no problem clearing room, and the cap goes up significantly next year, so I am not worried about the longer contract.

          We lose Timonen’s $6 million per at seasons end, and if we can lose Hartnell’s $4.75…we are over 10 million ahead. So $5.75 for Enstrom or $5.142 for Bogosian could be fit with relative ease.

          My fear with Buffy is his weight and apparent lack of control when it comes to food. He is also defensively challenged..more so than the other players discussed here.

          I don’t see him being a good fit in Philly, and can see him back to the Hawks before the Flyers would get him. He is in no way a replacement for Pronger.

          I can’t see the Av’s trading ROR. That beef was with a different management team, and the team is winning now, so staying is easier.

          • Exactly. Could you Imagine having Buff, Grossman, Coburn and L. Schenn? There are Peewee teams that could out skate that D.

          • @ GARY

            Unfortunately …GARY …thats a lot of woulda ….coulda….shoulda …Gary…no offense but If I was a Philly…I drather not make any move for Entrsom he fits no need ….and comes with a $5,75 cap hit for the next 5 years ..if he does not work out your screwed !!! BUFF fits multiple roles and is less MONEY AND TERM !

          • @Gary
            You’re right about Hartnell and Simmonds….and I think the management would rather have Simmonds if it came down it. Hartnell also has trade value. He’s a big dude, plays a hard physical game and isn’t afraid of going to the net…as much as I like him I think his time in Philly is soon running its course. If you could use Hartnell to get a good puck moving D-man that the Flyers crave, I think you’d see him gonzo. I’m not sure if he has a NTC or not but his contract is very affordable and therefore attractive.

          • @ Backchecking:

            I don’t see woulda, coulda, shoulda. Timonen is on record as saying this is most probably his last season.

            Hartnell has become a valuable trade asset with Simmonds playing like he is.

            Buff does not fit this team at all. Have you watched them? They have slow guys already in Grossmann and Schenn. They need a true leader on defence..a Mark Howe type.

            Getting Buffy for Hartnell is going backwards in my mind. You don’t need Buffy in front of the net if your have Hartnell or Simmonds. And quite frankly, Buffy is -16 this year. Not what the Flyers need.

            The whole Flyers starting 6 dmen are a combined -16.

            Timonen: +3
            Coburn: -4
            Grossmann: -8
            Streit: -5
            Meszaros: +2
            L. Schenn: -4

            I just don’t see a need to trade away any Flyers for anything that Buffy brings. I also think the asking price will be high, and more than Buffy is worth.

            I would not be interested.

            There are other dmen in the league that I would want well before adding Buffy.

          • You’re right about Buff, the Flyers definitely don’t need him. It would be nice to get rid of Hartnell, but he has a NMC, and he sure as heck wouldn’t waive to go to Winnipeg.

          • you’re right the Flyers don’t need 2 of Hartnell and Simmonds. they need about 5 of those guys. this team isn’t close to team enough. smurf for a captain and a team that plays soft. Hartnell, Simmonds, Schenn are the only FW other than Rinaldo that consistently bring a physical game

            Hartnell isn’t going anywhere. No Trade clause

            Simmer isn’t going anywhere. young, locked in for about 5 more years and Snider loves what he does for the inner city kids. plus he’s a solid player, one of the few FW who plays in front of the net and he fights

    • The Flyers don’t need another soft D man like Timonen. They need to get tougher and they need a defensive D man. Part of their problem is the softness of Timonen, Streit (who’s a defensive liability), and Coburn (the gentle giant, this team’s version of Chris Therein). They don’t hit, they all FW to skate so they sometimes get hung up in their own zone

      They need a #1 D man. All of their D are 3rd pair D men with the exception of L Schenn who’s been decent and can qualify as a #4 and Meszaros if he keeps progressing can be a 2nd pair D

      Really need Weber. Not that any team wouldn’t want him. But that is their biggest need along with 2-3 more 215 pounders. They’re small and soft. Would love to see Zack Kassian in orange & black

      I think they’ll take another run at Weber. Voracek, Couturier, and 2 1st rounders

      • I would not make that trade.

      • And you probably think there isn’t a team in the NHL that wouldn’t love to have Rinaldo too

        • No,

          Rinaldo is worth at least Statsney and Mckinnon from the Avs.

          I don’t over estimate what the Flyers are worth, but a top line winger, a top checking center in the league, and 2 1st rounders for a guy who has struggled without Suter?

          Way to much to give up for one player. Set’s the organization back a few years with no youth to inject, and not fond of giving up Voracek, who has played like a top line winger for the better part of 2 and a half seasons.

          I also don’t think Nashville will trade Weber. Not for a few years if at all. They have Seth Jones, and I am sure that they would want Weber to tutor Jones and make sure Jones is the real deal.

          Also..most of Weber’s bonuses and such will have been paid shortly, so his contract is only $7.8 million per. I just don’t see them paying the big bonuses, and trading him when he is almost cheap.

          • Weber is still owed over 80 million dollars and is 12 mill or over per year for the next 5 years not sure in what world thst is cheap especially to a team like Nashville. Cap wise the hit is not bad but to sit there and think its “cheap”? Ummm not so much. Weber does not become “cheap” until sometime in the next 5-10 years depending on how effective he is in the year 2020.

          • On Weber..sorry..SHticky..your are mostly right..

            he makes 90 million in the next 4 years, then drops down to just $6 million a year.

            I was getting at the fact that Nashville will probably keep Weber for the foreseeable future top let Jones develop.

            At that point, Webers salary drops down to $6 million per. and his last 8 years is only a combined $30 million….that makes for an average of less than $4million per year…and yes..in 3 years, I will consider that cheap while players like Phanuef and Kessel make over 7 per.

            That was more of my point. At this point, the Preds have paid out almost $56 million over 2 years….the cheap years are coming.

            I would consider Weber cheap at the $6 million he is set to be paid in 2018.

            Point of view I guess.

          • I do agree a bit tho I doubt he goes anywhere until Seth is ready to take over, but I doubt he sees all of those 5 expensive years in Nashville.

          • Weber has 2 more years at the $13M bonus and then multiple years at a lower bonus, but still at $7.85M a year salary. an expensive tutor. he’s a luxury the Predator can’t afford, since they’re probably missing the playoffs a 2nd year in a row

            exactly what the Flyers need. a big physical D man who plays 25 minutes a game and puts 20 pucks in the net

            Voracek has good speed but plays a soft game. on pace for about 2.5 this year. a good FW but not great, considering he gets top line minutes and 1st unit PP minutes

            Couturier is a good checking line center but they’re not hard to find. he’s young and has good size but does not play a physical game, is slow and hasn’t shown consistently that he has the potential to put 25 goals in. a 1st round pick who’s a checker better be able to score 25 a year to make that 1st round pick worth it. they should cash in on his potential now. Laughton should be able to step into Couturier’s role next season. this team has enough centers

            2 1st round picks. who knows how they turn out

            all for the best D man in the league, in the prime of his career. he could be to the Flyer what Stevens was to the Devil. i’d do that deal in a NY second

          • Weber’s cap hit will never fall…..it is what it is. Even though the amount of $ due will change, the cap hit will always be whatever it is at this present time.
            Couturier – 20 years old. Decent size and becoming a PK specialist. His game resembles Bergeron’s game a lot….I didn’t say he WAS Bergeron, just saying his game resembles it. His potential will be a Bergeron type player and those players are hard to come by. When you’re down a man late in the third and the faceoff in your zone, who do you put out? Exactly. Couturier has taken strides this year in his development, even though the stat sheet doesn’t show it, it’s the small things that matter. They have him on a bridge contract and no way the Flyers give him up…they never gave him up for Bobby Ryan or Keith Yandle….and they won’t be giving him now. It’s funny that everytime the Flyers are rumoured for a trade, Couturier’s name is always attached to it. I say, he must a good player if every team includes him in trade talks. Ever watch him in the corners or half boards battling for the puck? Scott Laughton doesn’t have the size to win as many of those battles as Couturier.

        • Rinaldo is fast, hits, and has balls. don’t care what other teams think. i like this kid. apparently the coaching staff does too. when they unloaded that dead weight Talbot, Rinaldo is now getting minutes on the PK

          as he gets more experience, he’ll learn to pick his spots and stay away from the stupid penalties

      • That’s a terrible trade for the Flyers.

      • Grossman is soft????? We need a good 2 way Dman. Not many people giving up those kind of guys. I’d get sick if they traded Simmonds.

  2. Gaah Agreed sounds like ROR is going nowhere soon, on to the next center with some size and grit for Leaf fans to speculate over.

  3. Hmmm Sharks second for Raymond?

    • No way. Raymond will be staying with the Leafs. Nonis will not let him walk.

      • Their is no way, Raymond wont get above 2 mil a year maybe even 3 if he stays on pace. You think the leafs have the cap space to keep him?? I like raymond and think a solid line of raymond holland and lupes would be good going forward, but if he can not be retained for around 2 mil why not get a second rd for him??

    • Shticky I think you may have something there. Raymond is a good cheap player this year and will have diddly squat left on a cap hit by the trade deadline so he makes a great rental player, also with his production this year he will be demanding a big raise which the Leafs can’t really afford for a potential future 3rd line guy. With Holland being called back up I could see shifting Kadri to the wing and having Holland/Lupul/Kadri as a second line to finish out the year. I think Nonis will continue his minor tinkering by moving Raymond and Kuli. A high 2nd rounder for Raymond and a mid 2nd for Kuli both as rentals.

      • I agree, my main person to lock up is Bolland, the guy is our heart and soul out there. even in his little time he was out their. I see sharks being interested in raymond, as well as the pens in Kuli. I like Kuli but at 3 mil id rather spend it on bolland or bring back komarov. regardless nonis will be patient but could see bothe deal working out for 2nd rounder possibly a late first for kuli ( well Hoping anyways) if paul gaustad was able to fetch a first maybe nonis can get a late one??

        • Even the Oilers could be interested in Raymond. As an Oilers fan I’d like to see them trading a 2nd round pick for Raymond provided they can re-sign him. Signing Raymond would free up the Oil to trade one of their young stars for hopefully a good D man.

        • Replace Raymond with Levio… Recoup some picks, save some cap next year for something that will matter more than Raymond.

          • @ Shticky

            FINALLY AGREE ON SOMETHING !!!
            Get Leivo in the line up and Granberg too!

        • The pens don’t want anything from Toronto. Get it threw your frozen skulls.Still sick ofthem from the poni crap express.

          • The way you express your self with that last sentence (or whatever that rant was) you may want to take it easy on questioning the intelligence of others.

  4. No one knows whats going through Vaneks head except him and his agent. He has enough money to live on now so where he decides to play the next 5 years won’t be based on how much money will be offered but will hopefully be what team has the best players to win the “Big Prize”. I’m not saying the Wild are that team but fairly certain it’s not the Islanders. Does anyone disagree with me when I say the Wild have a better core group of players than the Islanders and also a better rookie class of players? I guess I’d like to see him come here to play with Poms, Parise, Koivu etc. he’d make our team and any team he plays for better!

    • Vanek would be insane not to sign in MINNI…they will have the core of quality players for the next 5 years along with ex teammate Pomminville …they are on the brink of greatness. Islanders on the other hand….well….not so sure …its nice to play with Johnny but the Wild will be where its at in the very near future.

      • BC, agreed., but there are the concerns about goaltending and coaching. We need a vetern coach to get the most out of our team and Backstrom is not going to lead us to championship, with Hard’s on medication (but playing awesome when he plays) how long can/will he last? Time will tell, maybe there will be some opportunities for both this summer. Peace.

        • Isles chances of signing Vanek may be slim but if they can land a proven #1 goalie and D man before securing him this will at least put the thought in the Vanek camp that the Isles are serious about not being in some veiled rebuilding phase still.

  5. As a Leaf fan I am not interested in a second round pick for Raymond. Not disputing the value proposition, I just think the Leafs are healthy with prospects and need to keep decent players on their roster. The Leafs need to strengthen Defense, so if we were to give up roster players I would rather see a package for a really good Defenseman or Centre, not a pick or prospect. I would still take Joe Thornton at his advanced age over any current Leaf centre. Sharks would not likely give him up for any package the Leafs could put together.

  6. Cammalleri would not fulfill the increased physicality requirement for the Senators, and would likely be more expensive than they can afford (the Sens have some good prospects, but no first round draft pick).

    Devin Setoguchi is much more Bryan Murray’s style.

    • Seto’s days are numbered for playing in the NHL, he has talent but doesn’t work hard enough, he seems to have lost his confidence after the Sharks traded him. Peace.

      • Murray loves a good reclaimation project, and risk is low on a UFA.

        Seto’s struggles also mean he might be had in return for one of the younger players currently on the fringes of the Sens roster, which is Murray’s stated preference.

  7. Beau Bennet to the Oilers with Simon Deprese for Jordan Eberle

    • Bennet and Depres alone won’t land you Eberle!

    • I’m sure Shero would fly the plane to Edmonton to pick up Eberle if that deal was on the table. Don’t ever see that one happening. Now, maybe if you substitute Letang for Despres, than you might have something Edmonton could live with.

  8. Hemsky and strong play should never be used in the same sentence. He is 30, has 24 pts in 47 games with a -11 and 24 hits. This is for $5 million a year. Kassian of the Canucks is 22, has 11 points in 41 games with a -4 and 54 hits. This is for $870,000 a year. Wow, people are saying Hemsky is playing well yet Kassian is being touted as a disappointment..

    • I’d say they’re both disappointments, and I actually like Hemsky as a player. But he’s a skilled, scoring forward, on pace for 12 goals and 45 points. Not impressive.

      Kassian is only making that salary due to entry-level contract rules, so it’s not like that was a shrewd financial deal the Canucks or Sabres made. When he re-signs it’ll be for much more money… and he’ll still be a highly touted former first-rounder on pace for 19 points. Much more is expected of him.

      • Kassian will end up in the minors permanantly if he doesn’t step up his game, there are much better players awaiting their chance at the big time!

        • Iceman you forgot the peace at the end of your post.

          • Peace!

    • Totally agree with you Gored1970!

    • Kassian’s only being considered a disappointment because he got traded for CoHo. Otherwise he’s doing fine.

      • How is 11 points fine??? 32 points in over 120 games is far from fine for an early first round pick. Trading Hodgson for him was stupid.

        • He didn’t want to play in Van , Kassian has some physical attributes that are not easily found with the type of skill he has. It;s a question of whether Torts can get it out of him night to night. Cody may score more goals, but he’ll never beat you up in a corner like Kassian can.

          • Who cares if he beats people up in a corner thats why they have Sestito and other fourth liners for, he was taken in the first half of the first round and Van traded a very good young center for him. Score already, get some points do something that fourth liners cant do. They got him to add some grit at the top of their line up, they didnt trade Hodgson thinking they needed a fourth line AHL type guy.

        • Doing fine for what he was supposed to be. I still couldn’t believe he was taken by my sabres that high.

    • Good comparison. I’m pulling for Kassian because of people’s unrealistic expectations for him. He’s not Cody Hodgson, folks, he’s Zack Kassian and he is slowly becoming an asset to the Canucks (if you can overlook last night’s game).
      The big “if” with Hemsky is health – when he’s healthy, he contributes and, if he gets moved to a playoff team with decent centremen, he could be a solid pickup. Can’t see him moving though because of his paycheck.

    • You forget one thing. IF Hemsky had the defence and goaltending that Kassian has behind him would his +/- be the other way around? Hemsky would probable have more points and less hits as he would most likely be in the offensive zone more often. Really IMO you are comparing apples to oranges.

  9. Bryan Murray should offer up what it takes and target Big Buf in Winnipeg and then play him as a forward. He will help the team score, add size to the roster, and the Stanley Cup Ring sure doesn’t hurt either. I speculated earlier in the year that Camma would be a good fit for Ottawa, but I don’t want to see the team give up value pieces for a rental player at this point, more so because we would still have to go out and add more size.

    • Perhaps Matt Moulson? The two GM’s involved also seem to be acquainted with each other as well…

      • I’d be very okay with landing Moulson & Ott out of B-flo

  10. Ales Hemsky is David Booth 2.0. Let’s be honest, he’s not playing that good considering the talent level he’s playing around. If he’s traded or leaves, he’s just going to diminish into a 2nd line guy who has a sketchy scoring touch, or a soft 3rd line player. Just like, David Booth, sizable contract, little return.

    • Hemsky is a much better player than Booth.

      • Booth is nothing compared to Hemsky.

        Hemsky > Booth any day of the week.

  11. In respect to the massive return for Kane needed to pry him out of Winnipeg, there was a decent trade proposal I read the other day involving Montreal that might have the juice to make Winnipeg pull the trigger.

    MTL gets
    Kane

    WIN gets
    2014 1st
    Zachary Fucale
    Sebastian Collberg
    Martin Reway
    Brendan Gallagher

    • As a Habs fan, that feels like a lot to give up: A first, three good prospects and last year’s Calder finalist?

      I think Kane is a talent and getting him would cost a lot, but 5 very valuable working parts for him sounds like way too much.

      • Way too much

    • Too much for sure but that’s what it will take. Fucale, a first and Gallagher will get the conversation started.

    • i agree with schticky on this one that’s way too much for the habs to be giving up plus gallagher won’t be going anywhere
      the habs do have the stuff to make a deal and i suspect if bergevin gets kane he’ll fleece the jets in the process it’ll be a deal similar to what the rangers pulled to get nash of of columbus

  12. Bryan Murray will probally make a offer for Matt Moulson!

  13. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Penguins make a strong push for Hemsky. He may not be an ideal fit alongside Crosby and Kunitz, but GM Ray Shero isn’t comfortable with Beau Bennett as his only option going into the post-season.

    The Penguins have enviable depth in prospect defenseman and would surely move Simon Despres, but I don’t know that the Pens can afford to offer much beyond that. Perhaps someone like Engelland.

  14. Re: Kassian….Kassian gets flack because the Canucks had to trade a player the fans loved (he was the second coming of Trevor Linden, according to some)…but that player obviously wanted to be closer to home. Can’t blame him for that. The Canucks did right by him and got him closer to home, and they got what the organization needed most….a young prospect with some size. Remember people’s attitude about Bertuzzi when he was 22? A lot of people thought he was a bust, and that he had a bad Attitude. Sometimes, you just have to let a kid mature. Kassian is young, and maybe he’ll turn into another Bertuzzi, who , with the exception of the Steve Moore incident , has been a pretty damn solid hockey player in his own right. It takes time with power forwards to develop, and he’s in a good place to develop. I’m willing to wait a couple more seasons before we kick him to the curb if be doesn’t work out. I think he’ll be fine.

    • Agree completely.

    • Its not the attitude thats concerning its the lack of any kind of consistency or production. Who cares if hes big. Right now he plays like a fourth liner.

      • Kassian is no Bertuzzi give your head a shake Bertuzzi had more points in his first 75 game season than Kassian has in 125 games. For the most part has been a 40-50 point per season for his career with a few seasons of 60-90 points.

        • Shticky, I’m not sure if you follow the Canucks at all, but I don’t think you’ve been watching the last 20 games or so. Kassian’s been playing much better, particularly the last few games with Kesler. But most of the time earlier and definitely the previous season, he played on the 4th line, sometimes the 3rd. The kid’s only 22 and has the hands, just needs more consistency. I like his grit and jam, and I think if you surveyed a lot of Canucks fans, they want him to stick around and keep improving under Torts.

          He’s a year younger than Hodgson. CoHo wanted out of town to the point where he (and his agent) was driving Gillis nuts and becoming a problem in the room. Not sure he could have gotten much better of a return with the pressure he was feeling to trade him. Anyway, no point bringing up the constant CoHo comparisons as they’re very different players and a trade was going to happen, no matter what.

          • Must say Ive only watched a few Canuck games so far this year including last night none great shows by Kassian, quite a few more last year. To me Kassian isnt terrible but definitely no more than a bottom 6 type player long way off expectations of a Lucic or Bertuzzi type. To compare a player who has a has a .25 ppg clip to either of the other 2 is delusional he has a long way to go and at 125 games over 4 seasons as a pro?…getting pretty close to time to call a spade a spade 30 points in 120 games is not “hands”. Even if Kassian doubled his production its a .5 ppg player. Lucic is . 6 Bertuzzi .75

  15. With the lack of offense in New Jersey I could see Lamoriello making a pitch for Hemsky, I think he’d fit in well with their lineup.

  16. Wheeler to Ottawa for Michalek ( to balance the $ ) , Greening ( .8 cap hit going up to 2.65 next year) and Mark Stone ( Wpg born , going to be a top 6 NHL winger ). Would be surprised to see Stone move but you have to give something to get something.Either get Spezza a scoring winger like Wheeler or move him.

    Also could see Anderson moved for the right price now that he has found his game again. More likely something that will happen in the off season. Lehner is ready to be the number 1 guy.

    Trade Corvo for a pick and bring Borowiecki back up. Wiercoch is also expendable now that Cecil has fit in.

  17. People are ragging on Byfuglien about his conditioning, I wonder what a few dozen trips through the Grouse Grind would do for him? Any idea who’d go the other way to get him? I’m thinking maybe Jensen, and a first (I don’t think Jensen will make the Canucks anytime soon. I think other prospects have passed him depth wise). When they buy out Booth, and the cap rises, I don’t see it being a problem to fit him under the cap, and they could use him in front on the power play….comments???

  18. There is NO WAY the Sabres would ever deal Girgensons or Ristolainen. Although I’d rather have Risto’s pick back and take Nichushkin instead. But I’ve been beating that drum for months now.

  19. Buff wants to play in a city where’s there’s a variety of all you can eat Buffets.

    • Florida