NHL Morning Rumor Mill – July 3, 2013.

Latest on the Flyers, Red Wings, and Blackhawks, plus speculation on Daniel Briere, David Clarkson and more

PHILLY.COM: The addition of Vincent Lecavalier could force the Flyers to shed some salary by shopping a defenseman, which could explain why GM Paul Holmgren was shopping Braydon Coburn to the Edmonton Oilers during the draft. Coburn has the best value of the Flyers blueliners and thus would be the easiest to move.

Tim Thomas "intrigued" by the Flyers.

Tim Thomas “intrigued” by the Flyers.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio cites sources claiming former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is “intrigued” by the Flyers but remains uncertain if he’d be a good fit there. Though Thomas is suspended by the NY Islanders for not reporting to them last season after his contract was acquired from the Bruins, the Islanders don’t intend to toll his contract forward to this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is in the market for a veteran goalie, preferably one with only a year or two on their current contracts. There’s not much available in this summer’s UFA market, with Thomas (who sat out last season) arguably the best of the bunch. Holmgren could try to land a goalie via trade. 

BUFFALO NEWS/NEWSDAY: report the Buffalo Sabres and NY Islanders are among eight teams with interest in free agent forward Daniel Briere.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders and Sabres could be a good fit for Briere as he would be close to his sons in Philadelphia during the season.

NORTHJERSEY.COM/TORONTO SUN: Winger David Clarkson has reportedly rejected a significant offer from the New Jersey Devils and intends to test the UFA market. Mike Zeisberger wonders if the Maple Leafs can exploit Clarkson’s local connnections to lure him to Toronto.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clarkson would certainly fit into the Leafs “truculent” image, but given the Leafs need for a top-line center (especially if Tyler Bozak departs), it might be wiser to pass on Clarkson and pursue a scoring center.

DETROIT NEWS/MLIVE.COM/DETROIT FREE PRESS: Valtteri Filppula seems likely to test the free agent market, which could put the Red Wings into the market for a second-line center. Possibilities include Florida’s Stephen Weiss, Washington’s Mike Ribeiro, Minnesota’s Matt Cullen, Toronto’s Tyler Bozak and Vancouver’s Derek Roy. Of this group, Weiss appears the most attractive free agent target.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings reportedly contacted the Panthers in early-June expressing interest in acquiring Weiss’ rights. They weren’t willing to pay Valtteri Filppula $5 million per season but could be willing to go that high for Weiss. 

CHICAGO DAILY HERALD/CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg is headed to the free agent market, but the club continues to negotiate with backup goalie Ray Emery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Emery could attract considerable interest in this summer’s free agent market, but it appears he’d like to remain a Blackhawk for the right price.

SUNSENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers may part ways with Stephen Weiss and Peter Mueller.


  1. Getting Thomas would be awesome..

    Hartnell Giroux Voracek
    Schenn LeCavalier Simmonds
    XXXX Couturier Read
    Rinaldo XXXXXX Talbot
    XXXX – Laughton could make the team, McGinn or Akerson.
    I hear Flyers talking to Gagne too, Gagne wants to stay in Philly for less money. Would be awesome on that 3rd line with Couturier and Read.

    Coburn Timonen
    Grossmann Meszaros
    Streit L.Schenn

    Mason Thomas

    • I gave a feeling cotourier will be shopped for a goalie or a good defencemen. Just a feeling though.

      • If that were true Miller would probably be a Flyer right now. Holmgren has said that Couturier is untouchable and I’m almost certain he is who the Sabres would want.

        Thomas on the Flyers is nothing but a short term solution to a problem that seems eternal for that team.

        • With signing Lacavalier the flyers are about three million over the cap, so I would think one or two bodies will be shipped out shortly. If holmgren signs Thomas to a reasonable 3.5 to 4 which is probably low then he will be almost eight mil over the cap. So who goes? Holmgren is really making a mess of things and personally I think he needs to be fired.

          • @Drew. Pronger is on LTIR. He makes 4.9M a year. It will come off the book.
            No worries.

          • Actually…….with the Lecavalier signing the Flyers are $300,000 over the cap. NOT $3mil.

    • I thought PHI needed Defense and a Goalie? Why is he signing 2nd-3rd line centers and trying to trade his Defense away?

    • Not everyone sees the real picture here. Maybe Spector can answer this better. The Flyers ARE WAY over the cap by around 3.2 million, of course, that does not include putting Prongers 4.9 mill on LTIR. But they don not have a back up goalie. I’m not sure how well this will work for them…but they have some time to fix the salary problems.

    • Talbot is better than a fourth-liner, and I doubt Read will be here come season’s start. Look for Read and Coburn to be shipped, perhaps for a true #1 goalie. Mason and Emery aren’t going to cut it by themselves.

  2. Acording to all these scribes, The Flyers land Vinnie, Timm Talyor, and Bobby Ryan and only lose Briere and Couburn (via trade). Can you get that magic wand?

  3. Lyle,

    I understand the need for a center for the leafs, but If they pass on Clarkson who would they go and get on the ufa market??
    Weiss is not an upgrade over Bozak, its a lateral move.
    I like Filppula but he wants something like Bozak’s offer to the leafs, so i do not see that happening.
    Brier, while still effective, is injury prone and his best days are behind him.

    That leaves us to Riberio. who at 33 is looking for a deal similar to what Lecalvier just received. I think I would take a chance on him for 4 mil on a 3 year deal max, but he does not fit into Carlyle system.

    If I am nonis I am calling Homer since they half to run out of cap eventually, and see what young center I might be able to grab, in a trade.

    So with whats out there, I think the leafs would be better off to pursue Clarkson, then to pursue any of these guys and give grabo/Kadri a shot with kessel, or try and move jvr to center.

    LEAFS still need a vet dman and would love to get scuderi, or ference.

    • Reimer and gunnerson for cutourier. May have a bit more thrown around there but it works. Phili can then move colburn to Edmonton for more depth and Toronto signs fistric to fill the void.

      • so they don’t move him as part of the Weber deal, but they sign off on this? they are not moving him regardless, but this pot would have to get a bit sweeter.

        not to to mention cout does not make any money yet. if he goes its for a nasty return. number 1 defenseman type.

        why would they trade for a goalie now, anyway? they would wait until the free agents have dried up first.

        • Agree.If the centre isn’t out there that fits you don’t settle for then next best. Thank you tim connolly. The leafs need some physical wingers and if horton,clarkson would fit the $$ then you sign them. Don’t pass.
          I really don’t understand philly and I am comingt terms with I never will. Some how some way they need to shed saraly and still add a goalie and imo a d man. So who knows how they do that.

          • I agree. Waiting for the right opportunity for a #1 center is they key. Plus all there loosing is Bozak ,and they gained a better all around center in Bolland. I would wait to see who the starting goalie is gonna be and trade the other in a package. You never know, Kadri may be your guy anyway.

      • A bit? I know you have NEVER EVEWR thought about it before but try just for a minute to see it from the other team’s point of view. Couturier for a back up and an average dman. How about Mason and Lilja for JVR?

        • Definitely. It’s laughable to read every rumour on this site followed up with a Reimer plus another expendable Leaf for a top player/prospect from another team. Nobody is going to trade for Reimer. He only gets moved in a package deal to someone who needs a back up. I like Reimer & love the passion of the Leaf fans but Reimer & Gunnarson for Couturier??? Never happen.

    • Totally agree.

      • I know we are going to have controversy, with having a 1a and 1b goalie, but all the good teams have this problem. I am not even thinking about trading James Reimer.
        Plus I think Philly goes after Thomas anyways, but some part of me still thinks he is going to want over 3 mil, which if they want him they will half to move a guy like coburn, plus.

        • You’re absolutely right. I’ve seen more than a few goalies look really special and then just kind of fade away. Jim Carey (the Washington goalie) comes to mind along with Jamie Storr of the Kings.

          At this point, you don’t even know for sure that either Reimer or Bernier are number 1 goalies. They should be. They certainly appear to be. But the last thing you want to do is waste a year or two on a guy who turns out to be nothing special.

          Better to have two goalies and see who ends up the starter. If one of the two siezes the opportunity, then you trade the other one down the road.

    • Sorry guys, I disagree here. As a Leaf fan, my main targets on my free agent shopping list are: #1: Clarkson and #2 Weiss. Weiss would give the Leafs the centre they’re after and would make Bozak expendable. Clarkson would be someone that you can use on any line in any situation and would be more valuable in the playoffs than Bozak. If you’re facing the Bruins in the playoffs in Game 7 with a lead, who would you want on the ice? I could have sworn Bozak and Grabovski never left the ice in the third period and did they ever pay for it. If Randy Carlyle can ever find a way to put Clarkson, Bolland, and McClement together, this would be by far the best checking line in the NHL. Weiss would help take care of the offence and give the Leafs another potential game breaker to add to what is already a talented group. An extra bonus: Dave Bolland is from Mimico which is also David Clarkson’s hometown, so hopefully a little extra heavy recruiting will be needed here.

  4. Thomas sounds sexy as a Flyers goalie.. but given the Flyers’ luck with goaltending in combination with the scenario’s risk (38 year old goaltender taking a year off), I’m banking on Thomas not working out with the Flyers.

    The hockey fan in me wants to see Thomas thrive in Philly.

    • correction: not Flyers’ luck, rather Flyers’ poor decision-making

  5. Lile …………..

    usually I agree with a lot of what you write, but what does the need of the Leafs having to get a legit Center have to do with signing Clarkson …..the Leafs came within 10 minutes and 4 goals of beating Boston with the present Center they have by adding Clarkson it gives you a much better deeper all around team and allows you to exploit other players VIA trade if need be for the Center they covet but have not been able to find for a decade …..it would be a TERRIBLE decision to pass on a very rare player in Clarkson in the HOPES that you get LUCKY and find a Center …you have to go after the sure thing first and figure the rest out as the chips fall and teams get to the crunch of the cap …..to pass on Clarkson would be insane …what happens if yopu pass on Clarkson and you don’t find the Center ….then you loose both ….Sign Clarkson to the money he deserves and move out the players that are on the cusp like Phaneuf and others that can greatly improve the team VIA trade route …..You have to sign Clarkson if he wants to be there !!!!
    There is no scoring center to pursue that teams are giving up or they would have one and if they do find one its going to cost Gardiner , Rielly or Kessel !

    Filppula should not be the Center they covet !

    Another noteable player to sign would be Michale Sauer from the Rangers that was not qualified by the Rangers.

    Philly is all over the place and Homer is grasping at straws right now …he has no plan in place and has been reckless in his signings and giving money away like candy !!

    Bozak – Is absolutely insane if he thinks hes getting $5 million for 8 years ,,,C YA!!!!!

    John Davidson being a former Goalie and a true professional will land Tim Thomas in Columbus !!!
    There is no way Philly can get him under the cap without giving up defense via trade to make him fit ..but wait is Philly looking for defense??

    • Good points. The only caveat would be to watch for overspending.. which I think a number of GMs will do with Clarkson. That’s the last thing Nonis needs to do, as you mentioned they did alright with their current group.

    • I agree, I am not backing up the truck at Clarkson’s door but I am parking it on his front lawn. lol He is exactly what the leafs need up front. I Like Filppula but when I found out hes asking pretty much what Bozak is, well that’s when I stopped liking him. At this point for whats available give grabo/kadri a chance to be the puck moving centers. and let bolland be the guy who chips in now and then, and mcClement be the shutdown guy. Go after a solid dman with clarkson and the leafs just improved.

    • actually, its not really that difficult. the media is just too lazy to peel back the onion. they are close to even with the new cap now. they can go 10% over the cap in the offseason. once the season starts they put pronger on long term ir gaining almost 5 mill.

      gustafson who will play 22 minutes a night and be the a major suprise in the league this year will sign for 1.2 mill as he is restricted. they then will waive one of gervias or bourdon, more for numbers than the cap. bourdon when healthy can probably play in this league now as a 6 d, but he will not have to. they also have lauredson lined up for next year or later this year. he also makes nothing.

      if they want breathing room, yes they can move one of coburn, grossman or meszaros. saving 3.5 to 4.5 on the cap.

      meszaros being the most likely to go in the event they simply want room under the cap for deadline acquistions. he would be gone already were it not for his medical clearance will come this month. when that happens they can .dump him for pick.

      technically they could still sign a thomas or emery for instance at 3 mill and even fit in gagne. which would put them back at the cap ceiling.

      • Completly agree

    • Bozak won’t land that kind of contract anywhere in the NHL. A very interesting week coming up and possibly trades throughout the summer.

    • The Flyers are under the cap, even with the Vinnie signing. Pronger will be put on LTIR, and we will then have 3+ million left.

      We also have too many dmen.

      I’d be more than fine with losing 2 of Mezaros/ Coburn/ Grossmann.

      The kids last year showed they can play, and the defense actually seemed to be better without the big name/ contracts out there.

      Shedding Mezaros and Grossmann will save the team 7.5 million. Gervais to the minors knocks another $900000 off the books.

      As for Schenn/ Couturier/ Giroux…Timonen is on his last year. He has already said this is his last year. Thats 6 million off the cap. The cap went down this year, due to the contract. But…it will go back up next year.

      Resigning those three will not be a problem.

      Also, Couturier and Schenn are untouchable. If Homer wasn’t willing to trade them for Weber..why would the Flyers take second class crap in a trade for them?

      I wonder if Ellis will be made available now that Nashville has Jones….I would be willing to explore that option.

      • I would imagine a smart GM would want a little breathing room under the cap in the event they want to do somthing. Yes, Philly will have $4M under the cap, but I’m sure they do want a goalie and that will cost them around $3M, maybe more. But you never know what Holmgren will do.

        • I was just saying that the room is there to be made, and Homer has shown that he is good at making it work.

          Not worried about the cap at all.

          Read Bill Meltzer’s blog..covers this exact issue. I read it after posting above, and it says almost the same thing.

          Vinnie is a good pick up for the Flyers.

          His leadership was never called into question in Tampa, and now the Flyers have added both NY’s and Tampa’s captains.

          There is a bigger picture here.

          • I do not think philly can trade mezo unless they retain money. He is often injured and has a hard cap hit. Coburn is probably your best option to get a decent return

    • Unfortunately, Sauer is still dealing with concussion issues and may never even play another NHL game.

      Sad, as he was becoming one heck of an all around D-man.

    • I agree whole hearted that the Leafs should just pursue Clarkson/Horton as no #1 center is available (while I do like Riberio and think he would destroy with Kessel I will concede that he is not a Carlyle player). However if the Leafs are also retaining Grabovski

      Lupul – Kadri – Kessel
      JVR – Grabovski – Clarkson/Horton
      Cobourne – Bolland – Kulemin
      Orr – McClement – ????

      Phaneuf – Gunnerson
      Gardiner – Franson
      Liles – ????

      Bernier – Reimer

      This is a much deeper and much more improved team from last year with a couple of young guys in the AHL who could push for spots this year. This certainty isn’t a bad team and who knows Kadri could blossom if given the chance.

      • i think colbourne goes down to the A and McAurther plays alongside w/ bolland.

        • Cmack wont be back

    • I believe Nonis tried to trade Phaneuf.. and no takers. It’s very easy to say trade this player or that player… but you have to find a team willing to take on that salary.

      • Rumour in Edmonton was that Phaneuf was in play but Mactavish couldn’t close the deal.

  6. Lyle,

    Respectfully, yes the Leafs need a top line centre, and on points, based on best achievement over the last 3 years including an 82 game season, Filpulla, Weiss and Ribeiro would fit the bill. However are they really top line centres, or just an upgrade over Bozak? If not, I do not see the Leafs getting offered one because everyone who has one is keeping them. Weiss, Ribeiro and Filpulla are all an inch smaller, which disqualifies them from the getting bigger at centre, the argument that always accompanies the discussion about the Leafs at centre. I think if you have smaller skilled centres such as Kadri, you have to flank them with bigger wingers such as JVR and a Clarkson when you can get them. A bigger centre with smaller wingers, think Lecavalier and St. Louis, is great but rare. Having both is a luxury very few teams have. Therefore I think if the Leafs can get Clarkson, they should go for it. Leafs should try to make do with Grabo Kadri Bolland McClement and Colbourne at centre, and use their cap to bolster their other positions where there are substantial upgrades available. If the Leafs had tanked this year, they could have had Sean Monaghan. Instead they made the playoffs. C’est la vie.

  7. The Leafs will land Clarkson and still have room for a run at Weiss- if they dont get him, they dont get him…I think their attempts to resign Bozak have more to do with keeping Kessel than they let on…that should be the biggest story- if they cant lock up Kessel and Phaneuf in the next month- all hell will break loose..

    the centre situation will have a lot do with Grabovski being bought out- next off season

    Clarkson will cost 5 mill and in todays market, given that an old slow, past his prime 33 year old Lecavalier just got close to that …its reasonable…

    • They wont need a buy out next season! if they sign the rfas and some one for about 6 mill they would have more cap room next year then they do this year they would only be around 38 mill against the cap why would you use a buy out when the cap will probably be around 65-66 and you only have 38 mill in contracts? If they decide to use both buyouts the other will be used this year…

    • not a great comparison.. Clarkson scores roughly a point every other game, whereas Vinny produces .8 pts / game. (last four seasons)
      Significant difference.

      • Thats a funny way to look at it I look at it like this…Clarkson has scored more and played more games the past 3 years ppg is a useless stat when you start using it to prop up often injured players Lupuls clip at ppg since being a leaf is around 1.03 he must be one of the best leafs to ever play… See how dumb that argument is

        • sorry, I can’t interpret what your argument is. are you saying that including ppg in overall goals is dumb?

          • No what I am saying is you cant use ppg in a relatively small sample (Vinny hasnt played a full season in 3 years) and compare it to ppg against players who have more or less played full seasons.. Things have a tendency to balance out over time with fatigue, level competition and what not, points and goals generally will come easier at the beginning of a year compared to the end and other things like that can have an effect on thls stat. ppg is a decent enough stat. if you are comparing careers or over a longer period of time but when you take a small sample of say the past 3 or four years when a guy has been injured alot and compare it to a guy who or more or less has played full seasons the results can be a little skewed. Its not to say Vinny isnt a hell of a player he is, but that he has .8 whatever points per game would probably have dropped considerably if he was playing 70-80 games a year compared to 60 without getting a wif of the postseason.

          • fair argument.. though I would prefer to use previous 3 seasons to predict next season’s performance versus total career stats. players just aren’t the same player they are now versus say even just 4 seasons ago. if I had to put money on the line, I’d only use the previous 2 or 3 seasons.

            to suggest vinny wouldn’t uphold his .8pts / game that he has in the past 4 seasons is pure speculative, though I appreciate where you’re coming from. bottom line, i’d prefer to pay vinny 5.5 versus paying clarkson 4.5. heck, i’d stay clear of clarkson at 4… we all know his best days are behind him.

        • Clarkson rejected NJD last and final offer, right? What do you think it was? Devils just offered 3.3M 3 years deal to Zubrus, so I think they offered at least 3.5M to 4.5M 4 years for Clarkson and he rejected it..

          What do you think he is looking to get? 4.5? 5?

          • Im betting he gets 5.5 overpayment I know but, that is the least I can see him getting in a 5 year deal.

          • It maybe not so much as what the price is that was turned down, maybe just just plain out wants to play for Toronto! That is how some players are. B.Richards wanted to play on the Rangers…not the Leafs, Flyers, Canadiens etc. etc. etc. Same for Smyth in Edmonton, he didn’t want to go to Buffalo and LA, he wanted to be with the Oilers, which is why he wanted to be traded back to Edmonton while he was in LA.

    • Horton – JVR – Kessel
      LUPUL –Kadri – Clarkson buy out Grabovski
      Cobourne – Bolland – Kulemin
      Orr – McClement – Hamilton
      Phaneuf – Gunnerson
      Gardiner – Franson
      Liles – Blacker

      Bernier – Reimer

      That my friends is my leaf team for 2013/2014 make it work Iroc88

      • Don’t think Horton’s headed to Toronto. What’s the problem with Fraser on the back end? Having said that, there are some solid free-agent defencemen out there that should be contacted. A big move for the Leafs this summer will be to replace Dallas Eakins – one of the main reasons for the team’s improvement last year was the quality of the players who came up from the Marlies. Need to see that trend continue.

        • Steve Spott was just hired to coach the Marlies he is a pretty good junior coach and worked closely with DeBoer he will be a good coach there

      • In order to buyout Grabovski under the compliance buyout I think he would have to go on waivers today to buyout tomorrow. After July 4th.. the compliance buyout is expired for this off-season.. But the issue is, you don’t know for sure if Clarkson is signing with the Leafs..

  8. Realistically how much cap space will the Leafs have signing their UFAs? I would prefer going into the season with Kadri and Grabovski (we all know he is better than he has shown last season, and was his old mini-Datsyuk self in the playoffs) as 1A and 1B. No point to over commit on a UFA centre when the right fit is not available. Maybe someone will appear in the trade market or as a UFA next year when the cap goes up. Just try getting a maybe a Clarkson/Clowe and Ference/Murray this offseason. Also the cap goes up next season by probably 4-5 mill giving more flexibility.

    • completely agree here. let’s not go for the best available players today. go only for the best players who fit the bill long-term, and that may mean waiting 3 seasons before you dive in.

  9. Clarkson is overrated.

    Sauer is still recovering.

    Panthers better get someone to replace the lost offense with Weiss and Mueller out.

    • Grabo for a 3rd round pick perhaps?… Lol

  10. ***Realistically how much cap space will the Leafs have signing their UFAs after resigning their RFAs?

    • Depends if they dump salary..to sign the important rfas Kadri Franson Bernier Id say 12 mill so that leaves 6 millish they need to either dump Grabo or Dion if tbey were to go after another center and Clarkson

      • Not to mention they need some more D aswell so something soon has to give…

        • One more hour until we find out if they are buying out Grabo or Lyles. NOT HAPPENING like I said all along. lol

          At noon today we will all finally see where the Leafs stand in terms of salary cap now that the buyout period has ended so we can put to bed all these crazy signings like getting Horton, Clarkson and Weiss as if we could even afford one of these guys let alone all three.

        • If they can somehow trade Dion, their D looks like (without signing another dman in the market):


          • OByrne is UFA….

  11. Hey Shticky I will bash some of our own Leaf fans for a minute here. You should get a laugh LOL

    No one worry because Nonis will compliance buyout Grabo, Lyles, and Komi (somehow). Sign Bozak, Horton, Weiss and Clarkson for $3M each guy for 3 years and he will trade Phaneuf for 2 first rounders, Gunnar for Seguin and MacA and Komorov for Weber…

    • seriously, I know you want to sign weiss, but horton now 2 lol or how about we let the whole Marlies team play as the leafs, and we can return to the lovely world of being in the top ten bottom dwelling teams to the league.. you need to relax, always harping on what other people are commenting on. Sorry did not realize you were the Chief of all gm`s in the NHL and the tell all be all

      • Bro I rarely ever harp on other peoples comments except when it doesn’t make sense from a cap perspective like signing every UFA out there. This was a joke but I guess it hit home with you.

        • No, I always see your comments to leaf fans and you are one of the lol yes some time the of the proposals can be out to lunch, but we are all just hockey fans on a rumors/ forum making pitches that involve our favorite hockey team.

          • You realize I’m a Leaf fan right? Why would I bash a Leaf’r. That’s the first time I have every bashed and it was total sarcasm. Sorry buddy you have the wrong guy trust me.

  12. 30 more minutes until MLSE proves how unbelievably cheap they are and how it’s only about the all mighty dollar and not about making the team better.

    Teams have until noon today to put a player on $100 waivers for a compliance buyout.

    • really? why would they buy out Grabovski until they know they can replace him…and not to mention give Kadri all kinds of leverage in his negotiation….MLSE is a lot of things- cheap they are not

      • Cheap cheap cheap. Why else would they keep Lyles then? They have no one to replace him. LOL Please

        • You can place guys on waivers for buy out till tomorrow bg not noon today

          • Ya, I was going by what Bob McKenzie was saying because I also thought it was tomorrow. Then he puts out a correction say not today it’s tomorrow. You would think he would know of all people. Either way MLSE will show there true colours by tomorrow.

        • 3.75 for a top 4 defenseman – why wouldnt you keep- he had a bad year…wasnt that bad a deal when he signed it a year ago…funny how quickly opinions change

          • I don’t think Leaf nation wanted Lyles signed. He was signed as he was returning from a concussion. Bad Burkie signing.

      • This whole thing is about leverage you are right… leverage and insurance

  13. Trading Corburn makes sense to give cap space. But Phil has to many centers to play in the top 3. Sure one could play the wing but it really seems like a waste of a skilled center. I thought last week they were close to an extension with Giroux. What happened with that. This year he is affordable but I wonder about the future. And all the Phil fans saying Schenn and Couturier are untouchable are crazy. Its Philly. Carter and Richards were untouchables once also. Everyone one has a price.

    • Philly over the cap? How so?

      • Ya I looked art Cap geek and they are over by $300000, but Pronger’s 5m will come off yet. They are actually looking good cap wise, but they need a starting goalie and better wingers (to many centers).

        • @gh, Philly will try to improve in goal with UFA, this is not October yet. I know Homer is crazy but he is not an idiot. He will get vet goalie.

          Philly have prospects to play wing.

  14. And there you have it No Grabo buyout and no Lyles buyout thank you MLSE for showing your true colours… There will only be possible trades now and that seems highly unlikely with either of these two guys unless Leafs retain salary which begs the question, what’s the point in moving one of these two guys but still having to retain a big piece of salary? OR what’s the point in trading them if you have to throw in a decent player just to get them to take him, like the Leafs did to Nashville in the Lombardi trade with Franson as the bait. Leafs are now very tight on the cap once Nonis signs all his RFA’s. No room for Clarkson or anyone else barring some bad trade to shed salary.

    • don’t know why we gotta make big splashes in this UFA market when Joe Thornton, Stastny, and a few other fellas (Heatley) all show up as UFA for next July.
      let’s not get the best available today, let’s grab the best fit for years to come. Patience

    • They can put them on waivers till tomorrow….

      • Not that it matters as I said they could possibly still trade them, not for anything good but a team looking for a puck moving D may think about a third round pick for Liles, or Grabo for a third and hold a mill of his salary there might be some way to move them, regardless if they wanted to they could put the on waivers till tomorrow for the purpose of buy out according to Bob

        • I just don’t see the point of trading Lyles for nothing then retain $1M so basically you would have him for $2.75M. Same goes for Grabo if you trade him and retain say $2.5M that essentially means you could have kept him for $4M. Suddenly these guys are worth it. If you have to retain salary then you might as well just keep them and I’d say forget about trading them with the bait of a good player as per the Lombardi deal. That would be a total waste.

          • Well if they are cheap like you say lol that would clear 8 mill off the books ( really 9 but 1 mill is off Grabos deal) and they are only paying 1 mill for 4 or 5 years instead of 2/3s of who evers contract they would have to buy out, Im not sure whats going to happen but I am 99 percent sure Grabo wont be here next year unless every other plan they had backfires…lol Liles wont be here no matter what I think they can deal him for a third round pick no sense using a buyout on him, compared to Streit he is a bargin.

          • Agree, once the top free agents sign I can see the trade market opening up. No one will want grabo at 5.5 when they might think they can get Weiss, Roy and Ribero for less. As for Liles, he is a little different as the d crop isn’t that good this year and his contract isn’t that bad if you look at comparables. I do think he could be gone to a team like NYI or TBAY or cuz every other player is linked to them Philly lol.

          • Liles will probably be gone but I hope we don’t have to retain salary. I can see Nonis trading him and retaining though. I think they want to see if Grabo can recover this year unless someone takes him and his entire salary.

          • Compliance buyouts you don’t retain salary, you pay them straight out of the owners pockets, which doesn’t affect the salary cap. If Grabo was boughtout, Toronto would have the full $4.5M off their salary cap. Are you thinking of a buried player (sent to the AHL)?

          • Full $5.5M off the salary cap books that is, not $4.5, with regards to my buyout comment on Grabovski.

          • I was talking about a trade not a buyout

  15. Horton – JVR – Kessel
    LUPUL –Kadri – Clarkson buy out Grabovski
    Cobourne – Bolland – Kulemin
    Orr – McClement – Hamilton
    Phaneuf – Gunnerson
    Gardiner – Franson
    Liles – Blacker

    Bernier – Reimer

    That my friends is my leaf team for 2013/2014 make it work Iroc88

    • JVR does not play center.. Just does not. Yes he did play a few shifts here and there at center but he is not a center. He sucks on faceoffs, his passing is average to below average, he does nto have that defensive awareness.

    • Nope Cmack gone Liles gone Horton wont come hear he wants a quieter life (reminds him of his happy place in the concussion chamber I guess?) Gunnarson ehh maybe if the price is right but I could see them letting him walk too, so ya got it about half right …lol

    • Here’s what my 2013-14 Leaf team would look like barring any further trades after Friday’s free agent frenzy:

      Goal: Reimer + Bernier


      Phaneuf – Gunnarsson
      Fraser – Franson
      Liles – Morgan Rielly


      Lupul – Kadri – Kessel
      Kulemin – Weiss – JVR
      Clarkson – McClement – Bolland
      Orr – Grabovski – McLaren

      Obviously there’s still a few holes to fill in but already the second, and especially the third, lines look much improved over last year.

      • Pretty close but if we have a guy with a 5.5 mill cap hit centering the 4th line some thing is very wrong put McClement back there, Bolland centering 3 with Kuli on the wing, moveClarkson up to the wing on 2 with Kadri between JVR and Clarkson and Lupul and Kessel and a ?? Between them as much as people dont want to hear it Im betting its Bozak with Grabo gone for a draft pick.

        • Failing that a line of Bolland Grabo and Kuli as the third line

  16. How does this negotiation window for free agents work in regards to rfa’s? Are teams allowed to negotiate with them as well? I never really understood the offer sheet process in regards to teams talking to the players to get a contract signed.

    • I believe when teams make their RFAs a qualifying offers it makes them ineligible for offer sheets. If no qualifying offer is made then I believe on July 4th they are able to talk to any team. If a player decides to sign with another team, then the original team has a week to match the contract. If the original team decides not to match it then they receive draft picks in return; based on NHL rules.
      However I’m not sure every RFA can receive a qualifying offer or if its only certain ones.

      • You are close but not quite right. Qualifying offers are given to RFA’s to be with a 10% raise to qualify them so they don’t become UFA’s. As an RFA they can negoiate with any team but the team that owns their rights can match. If they choose not to they get draft picks like you said.

  17. Does anyone have any ideas on a 3rd line center for the canucks. Can’t see them using a rookie like Horvat or Gaunce since they will probably have Jensen (rookie) on 3rd line right wing.

    • Not sure on their cap space but Boyd Gordon is a perfect fit for a third line centre. He will most likely get a lot of attention though since I do think the UFA class is thing for that position. Guys like, tim Brent, Jeff halpern??

  18. @IROC
    Horton 5.5 minimum – JVR 4.25 – Kessel 5.4
    LUPUL 5.25 –Kadri 4 – Clarkson 5.5 minimum
    Cobourne 1 – Bolland 3.37– Kulemin 2.8
    Orr .925 – McClement 1.5 – Hamilton 1
    Phaneuf 6.5 – Gunnerson 3
    Gardiner 1.1 – Franson 3.5
    Liles 3.75 – Blacker .875

    Bernier 3 – Reimer 1.8
    Total $64M + 2.5M in old salaries on the books = $66.5M for 20 players. Plus you still need 3 more players and some room for injuries.

    You are WAY over the cap

  19. Been a while since I posted, but here is my $0.02:

    The Leafs should look at upgrading only at the centre position. That means not retaining Bozak at all. They need to get better at the #1 spot. You can sign Bozak if you trade Grabo, but that’s unlikely, and no he will not be bought out. Need a 1st line centre; and only can get it through trade. Clarkson at 4.5+ Mil a season is another guy who will be overpayed for his contributions. Nonis should not overpay for Free Agents (youth and cap space are his friend). Trading Phaneuf only makes sense if they can get value in return, and it sounds like they can’t. So in the absense of a for-sure young prospect in return, you keep Phaneuf becasue his minutes are very hard to replace. Next season will see Gardiner and Reilly with full-time roster spots.

    The Ducks (my team) are still talking about trading Bobby Ryan (why, i don’t know). I’d look at a deal that sends Ryan and another asset to Toronto for JVR and Grabo. It gives Anaheim the depth they need and a good but lesser replacement for Ryan (who has some upside). No reason to think JVR can’t produce with Getzlaf and Perry.

    Philly isnt going to do much else… they are pretty much stacked as-is. Couturier isn’t going anywhere, esppeically not for the crap listed above.

    Montreal should sign Clarkson AND Weiss. They can trade Pleks at the deadline since they will be out of the playoff picture by then; and look to re-tool in the draft this year.

    Tim Thomas will end up in Florida to tutor Markstrom for a year or two (I’d only give him a year).

    • Good post. I would add a possible Phaneuf for Stastny trade. Possible number one center that is needed. I don’t mind doing the Ryan for JVR and Grabo but I doubt the Ducks want to take on Grabo’s $5.5M for 4 years since they already have so much committed to Getz and Perry.

      • Stastny isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Especially, for caveman Phaneuf. please dump your garbage elsewhere Leafs Fans. The Avs like our young up and coming roster. We neither need, nor want, to move, dump, trade, or replace on the current roster. Our top 9 have already been set by coach Roy. Stastny has never been shopped by Avs management past or present. He is a very valuable player for the Avs. Any rumors of him being available have simply been manifestations of hockey fans and pundits merely because of his overblown salary. His salary lasts only for this season. The Avs will happily and comfortably keep our best all-around center for, at the very least , the whole season.

        Your trade proposals involving Stastny always feel cheap.

        • Someone’s testy tonight. LOL

          • He thinks they are going to draft a whole set of young Defencemen next and be grest for decades to come…the Avs will never trade any of our young champions to you low lifes!….lol coach Roy wouldnt do that! Ya ya ya we know….

        • I doubt that, and you wanna know why? You have 3 Centermen, and Sakic WILL be bringing in MacKinnon this season coming (2013/14). Your top 3 lines will look like:


          If Colorado didn’t match Calgary’s offer sheet, then Stastny would not be expendable. Colorado cannot trade ROR until March 1st, 2013. They cannot wait till then, because they cannot afford a $5M centerman in ROR. Plus they can get more in return for Stastny! Something like:

          To Toronto: Stastny
          To Colorado: Phaneuf + Ashton

          With Phaneuf, your D will be stronger with Johnson on the top line, and Phaneuf on your 2nd line. Then you have a high prospect in Ashton in keeping your youth and prospect pool that much deeper.

          • * Cannot trade ROR until March 1st, 2014

  20. JVR will never play centre.

  21. I will not be surprised to see Daniel Briére return to Buffalo. He is the center the Sabres have needed and have missed for the past six years. He will also set an example to the centers in depth for a few years.

  22. Grabovski and Liles will 100% not be bought out this year or next. They are overpaid but not liabilities/ineffective like Komisarek. Both could be moved for other overpaid players. Both Liles and Grabovski must both be given offensive roles to be effective. I believe the real Grabovski is the one we saw in the playoffs and 2012 season (I believe the short season was a hiccup). No he is not worth 5mill but he does have the skill and intangibles to be a top 6 forward. Liles has lost a step but he is very effective on the PP given the chance, and in a 5/6 role. He is the sort of player the Islanders should consider looking at to replace Streit especially since they are way under the cap. I assume the Leafs would have to sweeten the deal by flipping picks, or might just be happy to take a late pick. I think the trade would be more about giving a classy veteran an opportunity to play.

    • This is probably pretty close for Liles no flip floping picks tho a third rounder and he will play for the Isles, worse comes to worse a team like the Isles or Avs may take him off waivers for nothing Liles will still have some value to someone around the league if you look at other comparable D they generally are making 4-5 mill his hit is only 3.8 he didnt play much but with Franson and Gardner playing well towards the end of the year it was more about the Leafs having no room for him the the quality of his play Randy is not going to use 3 puck moving D its not enough of a physical presence.

    • Agree. Very good post

      • I would think the Leafs would also like to give Blacker and Rielly an opportunity. Probably more the former then the later.

        It’s funny how Fraser has turned into dog shit on every posters team for this year. The guy led the NHL in blocked shots, led the team in plus minus, and fought anyone who looked sideways at one of our skilled players. He is a stay at home D man that the Leafs desperately need right now who was very effective at moving bodies in front and suddenly no one wants him. LOL Unbelievable. Just from the fighting side of the equation he is needed desperately. Orr is on the ice for 3 to 4 min most nights. How do you expect him to protect our small players with those minutes. Fraser was on 13 to 15min each night and always seemed to be in the mix when it counted the most. Dumb, dumb, dumb letting this guy walk.

  23. I kinda hope the Leafs could get Ribeiro on a 1 or 2 year contract. He is an incredible playmaker, but can disappear if not motivated.

    As for all the centre talk, whatever happened to trying JVR at centre and seeing if the problem could be solved internally. Then you save the $5mill that was being talked about going towards at Weiss/Filpulla/Ribeiro etc who are all going to get overpaid and complained about like Grabovski