NHL Morning Rumor Mill – July 30, 2014

Latest on Michael Frolik and Mikhail Grigorenko, plus my take on Martin Brodeur, Evander Kane and Michael Del Zotto.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless believes Michael Frolik controls his own future with his new one-year contract with the Jets. “Frolik will now have some time to prove he’s worth the money his agent asked for or settle for closer to what the Jets are offering. Or he can walk and get overpaid on July 1″, write Lawless. The two sides can resume contract negotiations after January 1.

Should the Oilers pursue Mikhail Grigorenko?

Should the Oilers pursue Mikhail Grigorenko?

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: as Lawless suggests, if Frolik has a good season (20 goals, 50 points) it could cost the Jets over $5 million annually to keep him off next summer’s UFA market. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis wonders if the Oilers should pursue promising young center Mikhail Grigorenko, who’s struggled so far to crack the Buffalo Sabres lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Oilers need more experienced depth at center. Pass on Grigorenko. 


It’s been suggested the Minnesota Wild could be the only remaining destination for free-agent goaltender Martin Brodeur. Sure, if they can shed Niklas Backstrom’s contract, Josh Harding remains sidelined by MS symptoms and they don’t re-sign Darcy Kuemper. Otherwise, no.

The Phoenix Arizona Coyotes have been listed as a possible destination for free-agent defenseman Michael Del Zotto. Not sure why they would need another puck-moving defenseman, unless they’re planning to move Keith Yandle for a scoring forward.

Winnipeg Jets left winger Evander Kane is linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the blogosphere rumor mill. Doesn’t make sense to me. The Leafs already have James van Reimsdyk and Joffrey Lupul, recently signed David Booth and brought back Leo Komarov. In the wake of their re-signing Jake Gardiner, they now have no room to take on additional salary. They’ll have to give up a solid return to land Kane, and the Jets have shown no indication they intend to move him this summer.


  1. Every player in the NHL is linked to the Maple Leafs on some blogger’s rumor site. Nothing new here.

    • So very true. Just another day in the land of Wishful Thinking. Someone was born in or around the GTA? Well, don’t you know he grew up with a “burning” desire to wear the Maple Leaf! Give me a frikken break. Considering their classic dysfunctional management/ownership and often pathetic on-ice teams over the past almost half a century, one would have to ask “why???”

      • For the most part the ownership and management has changed quite a bit over the past year and continues to change. There are lots of guys who as kids had dreams of playing for the Leafs and winning, why you think that is? Think there are many 7-8 year old kids playing minor hockey talking sbout JFJ or Ballard? Nope they just grow up watching while listening to their parents and grand parents talk about tradition and former great players, and they want to do it for them…it doesnt change as the kid grows older. They are competitive athletes, some (not all but some) dont care about the media and this and that they want to play in the best market. If the Leafs start to turn it around and win somegames no doubt alot of guys will be wanting to come back, because if (big if) they ever do go all the way there will be songs written about that team. Sometimes believe it or not humans do thing for the glory of it.

        • Nicely said Shticky, I personally would like to play for an organization with the amount of history the Leafs has as opposed to say, playing my entire career in Nashville or Tampa Bay. If I were a player, Id be more proud to tell the grand or great grand kids I once played for the Toronto maple leafs. Because in 20-30 years, Florida, Tampa, Nashville, Arizona, Carolina probably will be like the Cleveland Barons, California Golden Seals or Hartford Whalers today. DEFUNCT. Leaf’s will always be there.

          • I would love to play for an organization like the Leafs. Big money contracts, no pressure to win and no expectation of winning. Sweetest deal in the league.

          • I’d agree that hockey will struggle in South Florida, North Carolina, Nashville and Arizona. Tampa is a little different. Tampa built it’s fanbase from northern transplants. People that relocated from Michigan, NY, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, etc. built the fan base by bringing their kids to see the Wings, Rangers, Habs , Maple leafs etc. And in turn those kids now teen+ grew into Tampa’s fan base. It all has to start somewhere, teams don’t build history in a small fraction of time. It takes a while. It just hasn’t caught on in certain places, and probably never will. Nashville, North Carolina doesn’t have the kind of transplants to get it all started.

        • Leaf fan looking at leaf land through rose colour glasses.

          • How? Is it the same ownership? Nope, same management? Nope….it takes time to turn things around its Bell and Rogers second full year Shanny been on the job what 3 months? fired assitants everywhere hired Dubas and a couple good assistant coaches drafted well spent money smart or at least smarter…takes time but its a good start, cant change the past 10 years or whatever but realistically still the 2nd most championships in the game and havent won one in 50 years and yet with all that time passed still way ahead of the Hawks Bruins Rangers which are all original 6 teams and in a 30 team league only
            18 teams have ever won it (and 6 of those only have 1 cup) so where is all the other 12 teams success? 50 years is a pretty big hole not to win a cup in, but the Rangers have 4 Cups and only 1 of which has come since the Leafs won a cup.
            Again not that its a good record over the past 10 years but it looks like its starting to turn around and it still going to take some time is far far away from rose colored glasses.

          • Going to games in Nashville is a blast. Problem here in the south is that hockey has to compete with football, baseball and basketball – most football.

      • he was born in Vancouver,i dont see him wanting to play for toronto

    • At least Josh Gorges showed the world, and Leaf Nation, which sees itself apart from the world in general for seeing everything through rose coloured lenses, that not everyone dreams of being a Toronto Maple Leaf.

      I believe that I read somewhere that Toronto is currently over the cap, if so, they will need to shed current salary before even thinking about improving their team, although it must be said that the past week has been a good one for Leaf management and their fans by signing affordable talent.

      • According to capgeek the Leafs have a cap space of $360,000. Check the facts before you post!

        And nobody said every player dreams of being a Leaf! Gorges wasn’t the first and won’t be the last player who rejects to go to the Leafs!

      • Yeah Josh Georges showed everyone all right….now’s he’s playing for the Sabres!!! And for the record, the leafs will send 2 of those players to the AHL and free up another $million or so

  2. Agreed lol…plus please no more wingers.

  3. If anything, shouldn’t Toronto be looking to add a d-man? They currently only have 6 under contract. Trading away a JVR, Lupul for a d-man makes a little more sense than them chasing Kane.

    • Trading JVR would be dumb and I think Nonis won’t make dumb moves anymore since he’s got Shanahan looking over his shoulder. Plus a guy Shanny picked himself waiting in the wings in Dubas or whatever. Lupul I can see for a bottom 4 defenseman. Probably has to come with some sort of stipulation on games played or salary retained. Not much of market for often injured players with big cap hits.

      • Lupul will not be traded for a bottom pairing d man, with whatever you mean by stipulations for games played….

      • I’m not so sure trading away JVR would be dumb, depending on the return. Toronto scored more goals than 6 team that qualified for the playoffs (13th in goals for in the league), but had more goals against than almost every team in the league(26th). Only NYI, Ottawa, Edmonton and Florida had more goals against. From the outside looking in, it would appear that they could lose some scoring if it were to bring a solid d-man.

        • Agreed NYR, it makes much more sense than trading a 20 + goal guy who plays on the second line and holding salary for a bottom pairing d man.

  4. Even as a leafs fan I too laugh at the sheer volume of rumours that I hear they are involved in. But come on already……the media in Toronto is ridiculous and they will blow up anything to make it look sexy enough to talk about. The Kane rumour is laughable as described by Lyle- leafs had no cap space to work with and already set in that position.
    Now that gardiner has been resigned (thanks DN), for the leafs what you see is what you get. With two drastically improved bottom lines, the workload will not be as harsh on the top two, which really hurt the leafs at the end of the year. The defense, while definitely improved, is what it is for now. Dion Phaneuf needs to have the best year of his career this season to prove he is worth the “c” and take the leafs a step in the right direction. If he doesn’t, he is done in leaf land.

  5. They are under the cap by 3 hundred k with Colton Orr on the roster and 15 forwards…demote Orr and another forward bring up a cheap Marlie as a 7th d and it leaves them with almost 2 mill in space and a 22 man roster

    • So much for all your cap space now that Gardiner is signed. Is I have been saying from the start once all RFA’s are signed this team is up against the cap with no wiggle room. Nonis way or paid guys like Komorov and Robidas. I won’t even go down the Phaneuf road.

      • There is 15 forwards demote Orr replace him with Granberg leaves 500k in space then demote another forward leaves about 1.25 mill plus 6 other forwards that can be burried and sent to the Marlies or put on waivers for little to no hit saving more space…the cap isnt an issue. Think about it. If they made a trade they could add a player with a bigger salary and depending on how many players were invloved still demote others like Booth Santorelli Kontinola Bodie Smith Winnik Holland and still be underthe cap…why do they need more room? Do you think that another team may be willing to trade a good 5 million dollar player for a guy like Cater Ashton? If there is an injuries there are no Marlies that will put them over the cap, and if they make a trade there will be salary going the otherway, and the ability to create more space. Yes with 23 man Roster they “only” have 350k but the farm team plays down the street and chances are they carry a roster of 21 or 22 players leaving more than a mill in space for injuries and the abillity to shed quite a bit more if they need too.

  6. Boston gets under the cap and Stl. Bolsters their D even more for a guy who doesn’t fit their system but has plenty of talent and upside.

    To Boston
    Paajarvi and Ian Cole

    To Stl.

    • No to giving up Boychuck for the third liner on his third team in 3 years….come on man you are , aking this to eady anymore :-p

      • oh i know it’s most likely a hard no, i saw it this morning somewhere else and wanted to see if everyone was on the same page as me

        • An Edmonton/Boston trade makes sense to me. Create a package of players and assets and both sides should be able to work something out. With Boychuck and Yakupov as centre peaces. That obviously doesn’t equate on its own. But I feel there is a deal to be made here.

      • Agreed, Boston would be foolish to make this type of move.

        Hey Shticky, did you get a new phone or something? The typos are killing me! LOL

    • Boston has way too many defensemen no need to add another.
      Also need a number one right wing someone better than that

  7. Leafs have 17 forwards and 6 D on their roster with the most recent signings. Of the 17 forwards I expect Orr, Smith (Marlies Captain) to go to the Marlies after training camp.Personally I would prefer to see the third trekker to the Marlies be Carter Ashton. He can tear it up in the AHL, but in the NHL he is at best a 3rd or 4th liner/ Let him get another year under his belt with the Marlies. At this point Bodie is better and more experienced. 7th D should be one of the Marlies, Granberg or Holzer.

    I cannot see your trade Buffbry, St Louis seems pretty sound defensively and I think they would want to keep improving their offense .

  8. Just a quick question. Is there any reason why the oilers wouldn’t pursue vinny lecavalier? It seems they need veteran depth at center, and the cap space.

    • Too long of contract. Four more years at $4.5M. With RNH and Draisaitl as the 1C and 2C in the near future, the Oilers only need a stop gap solution for the upcoming year. Arcabello will likely get a chance if they can’t find a short-term fix. Latest rumor here has them looking at Anisimov.

    • Don’t think it is a terrible idea but for the four years remaining. Had it been two more years absolutely.

  9. Marty can still land in Minny. Harding is dealing with MS, and even if Backstrom comes back, he wasn’t exactly lights out last year.
    Why not bring in the greatest goalie of all time, who know how to win, and may just push Minny over the hump this playoff season.
    As for Kemper, he could be re-signed to a 2way deal, and given the green light to play in Minny if Backstrom gets injured or is traded.

  10. Big thumbs cant help it and yes the new phone doesnt help. Its summer time Im never in the office. (Drinkin on the golf course dosent help much either)

  11. Just a comment on the Wild being interested in Marty.
    1. Backstrom is 36 and his days as a NHL goalie are limited, and the Wild have him signed to a 3 year deal, this year being the second.
    2. Harding has MS and may never play again, although Fletcher sees him as being capable of playing, but for how long.
    3. Keumper has about 30 games of NHL experience and most were pretty good but he’s basically a rookie.
    Honestly, can anyone see any of these 3 goalies in a starting role, having to play 60+ games + the playoffs? Not even Marty can help here, not as a starter anyway, the Wild are in a tough spot.

    • *cough cough* Reimer would work nicely *cough cough*

      • He said they were looking for a starter Shticky, not a backup.

      • they could trade for tokarski as their goaltender he’s better than reimer

      • Lol! I knew Shticky would mention Reimer. Tokarski wouldn’t be too bad. Is Vokoun available? Ok, grasping at straws on that one!
        I guess contract talks haven’t gone so well with Kemps, he thinks he’s the king already and wants a big contract, knows the situation the Wild are in so he’s trying to take advantage of that. Yikes, bye bye season………?

    • Isn’t Tim Thomas still out there ? At 2 million a year + Keumper that might hold them for a year.

  12. Hmmm guess Mason is out of the question then.

    • Right because Mason is not on the market. He is not being traded any time soon.

      • Flyers goalies get bought out not traded.

  13. Toronto Maple Leafs fans are the most delusional fans in all of professional sports.

    • Thanks for your input.