NHL Morning Rumor Mill – June 20, 2013.

Latest on Jonathan Bernier, Brad Richards, Kris Letang, Roberto Luongo, Alex Pietrangelo, David Clarkson and more.

Blues would match offer sheets for RFAs like Alex Pietrangelo.

Blues would match offer sheets for RFAs like Alex Pietrangelo.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports five teams (Flyers, Maple Leafs, Islanders, Wild and Panthers) are in the mix for Jonathan Bernier, whom the Kings hope to move for the right deal. The Wild would have interest in Bernier if they cannot re-sign pending UFA Niklas Backstrom, while the Flyers will only buy out Ilya Bryzgalov if they’ve got a “Plan B” in place, like Bernier or Backstrom…Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman acknowledged using his compliance buyouts is something to consider. Local reports suggested captain Vincent Lecavalier could be a compliance buyout candidate…New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello remains committed to re-signing David Clarkson…Blues GM Doug Armstrong warned his fellow GMs not to target his RFAs (Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Patrik Berglund, Chris Stewart) with offer sheets, claiming the Blues can afford to match them…Penguins GM Ray Shero acknowledged contract talks with Kris Letang’s agent have begun…

TSN.CA: LeBrun believes the message Letang’s agent passed to Shero is they won’t accept a dime less than $7 million per season. Darren Dreger, however, suggest Letang could stay for an eight-year deal if the salary starts with a 6 (as in $6.5 million). Dreger also reports the Canucks remain confident they can move Roberto Luongo via trade.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi also reports on Shero opening contract talks with Letang’s agent, noting the defenseman wants to remain with the Penguins. Shero is also involved in discussions with Pascal Dupuis’ agent.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James doubts the Red Wings pursue Letang via trade this summer, as the asking price could prove too expensive in both salary and return to the Penguins.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shero does have the luxury of time with Letang, as he’s not eligible for UFA status until next summer, but the expectation is he won’t hesitate to shop the blueliner in the coming weeks if they can’t reach agreement on the salary. If Letang is dealt, Shero will certainly get a solid return, but the issue still remains about replacing his offensive contributions from the blueline…As for Bernier, I think the Kings will get a good return. The lack of quality goalies in this summer’s UFA market should improve his trade value…Buying out Lecavalier makes the most sense for the Lightning to clear cap space, as I don’t see them moving his hefty contract via trade…Blues GM Doug Armstrong isn’t bluffing about matching offer sheets for his RFAs, but he’s primarily warning off those with interest in Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk…The Canucks may be confident of trading Luongo now, but that could be put to the test if they haven’t found any takers by the July 4th deadline for compliance buyouts.

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports a Flyers source said his team would be very interested in center Brad Richards if the Rangers use their remaining compliance buyout on him. The Flyers intend to use one of theirs on Daniel Briere, but it remains uncertain if they’ll do the same with Ilya Bryzgalov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s speculated the Rangers might hold off on a Richards buyout, as they wish to see if he shows any improvement under new head coach Alain Vigneault. If they do buy him out, a number of clubs would be willing to take a chance on him, albeit on a much shorter, far less expensive contract than his current one.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports limited salary cap space for the Minnesota Wild means there will be trades and potential contract buyouts this summer to become cap compliant for next season. Dany Heatley’s ongoing recovery from late-season shoulder surgery makes him ineligible for a buyout. Pierre-Marc Bouchard will become a UFA this summer, as could Matt Cullen unless some cap space is freed up in the coming weeks. Russo wouldn’t be shocked if Cal Clutterbuck were dealt, and has heard the Wild are shopping center Zenon Konopka. He speculates if defenseman Tom Gilbert isn’t traded, he could be bought out.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t put it any better than Russo did. Some changes are coming to the Wild roster, who have just over $6.7 million in cap space and must either replace or re-sign Niklas Backstrom and Matt Cullen. They could trade Dany Heatley, but at this stage in his career, I doubt there’s much interest in him. Gilbert seems a buyout candidate. I would’ve added Devin Setoguchi to that list, but he showed all round improvement as the season went on, so the Wild could retain him in hopes that improvement continues into next season.


  1. Letang is non-physical, injury-prone and a turnover machine … Shero will deal him … buyer beware

    • Couldn’t agree more. Letang is padded by his forward corps. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a decent offensive-defenseman, but for $7 or even $6.5? Still too much.

      Someone will (wrongfully) overpay for Bernier and I hope it’s the Flyers, because that’s what they do.

      • I understand with Bryzgalov and I kind of understand with Streit even know Streit be among points leaders for d-men next year… but let’s not go overboard and say that’s what they do..

        P.S most teams overpay for UFA’s.

        • Bernier isn’t a UFA … he is a trade candidate.

        • And if the past 2 years are any indication he will be up there in the minus category as well!…srry man just had to slide that one in there lol

  2. Lack of good goalies? Spector, its a buyers mkt. A GM like homer could find a slight improvement on bryz simply by letting the mkt play out. Lombardi has to move bernier before he’s subject to an OS. Only about 6 teams in the mkt for tenders. I think Lu gets CBO’d.

    • just to add…looks like you can add miller to the available list. def a buyers mkt and we haven’t even accounted for the fallout from all of the CBO’d plyrs…skaters included.

      • Totally agree. Look at the trade deadline every year – decent goalies getting swapped for semi-high to mid-round draft picks. And almost every team has a starting goalie – it’s just a question of *potential* upgrade with guys like Bernier. Buyers’ market for sure.

        • Murray could muddy the waters re goalies a bit if he let it be known Lehner could be had for the right price. Anderson is solidly the # 1 and the Sens have a couple of young goalies coming up the pipe. Stop-gap backups are a dime a dozen. Lehner has almost as much NHL experience as Bernier and probably a better record, including being on the Calder Cup winners two seasons back.

          • It would take an awful lot to acquire Lehner in a trade, and very likely more than most teams would be willing to offer. Up until the past couple of years the Senator’s achilles heal has for the most part been goaltending. Lehner is viewed as the teams goalie of the future and the goalies in the pipeline are years away from proving themselves as capable. Anderson’s possibly a potential target however that’s at least a year or two away.

    • Gillis needs to be fired!!! If you can’t trade Luo for basically nothing then do the right thing for the team a trade Schneider.

      • as big a whiff as gillis made last yr w/ the Lu situation, he’s a piker compared to holmgren’s wretched off season last yr. he’s mastered art of the impetuous move.

        gillis may just have to CBO Lu, cause no one wants that contract and the recapture risk exists even after a trade, because VAN signed the deal. best to swallow hard and do the CBO lest they be stuck w/ dead cap space due to injury or retirement- induced recapture penalties…unless i’m misunderstanding that clause.

  3. If an Islanders rumor went public, its not gonna happen lol.

  4. Bernier just makes to much sense for NYI for it to happen lol. Snow needs to make this move instead of waiver claims and draft picks.
    Seriously do the flyers not know to word NO. They are linked to every single player and are 8 mill over the cap. How are they going to fit richards in too on top of resigning all their rfas coming up next year.
    If a gm doesn’t send st louis an offer sheet they aren’t doing their job. Send a high offer sheet for petriangelo st louis matches and they can’t afford one of their other rfa’s. Pretty simple. Its about winning not being nice.

    • Because if Richards is bought out, he can sign a contract with any team for any amount. He might decide to sign with the Flyers as a Dollar Store special just to show that the Rangers made a mistake buying him out. In actuality – I’d like to see him sign with the Islanders aside from being a scoring threat, he would bring some leadership and mentor LI’s youngsters.

      • Richards would be bad for the Isles, i think kids are figuring it out themselves. I would like to see them trade for bernier, he does seem like a good fit but no more that nino and 2nd.

    • Pietrangleo is the one St Louis matched….Shattenkirk is the one that can be gotten by a high offersheet of something $6.5M per or less…compa is 1st and a 3rd.

      St Louis has at most $21M to sign their players. They have 4 big names. Pietr would get over $8M, Steawrt at $5M, Berglund at $4M….then you have only $4M left to sign Shatt and fill out your roster to have 23 players. Even after these 4 were signed they still have 3-4 other roster spots they need to fill up either with resigning RFAs or call ups. 4 players would amount to $3M-$4M total.

    • The only problem is which guy do you send an offer sheet to and stewart will be traded in that list no way he gets 5 million …. if you send it to alex. P they will match and they will match for shattinkirk and berglund will be matched as well the odd man out is stewart With taresenko or wtv his name is will replace stewart …. if i was a rival id def send it to all of those three players and stewart isnt worth a 1st and a 3rd

    • good thought on Bernier t Islanders
      kings would be interested in niedimieter
      islanders would also be interested in Williams

  5. What team would not want Pietrangelo? Blues better be careful and take care of business. Otherwise there will be a lot of whining like last year with David Poile.

  6. I wouldnt mind the Ducks trading for Konapka! He is great on the faceoffs, and tougher than nails! I wanted the Ducks to sign him last summer and I know murray tried to. Dont get me wrong, but Steckel did a great job when he was brought over. But Murray wants to get tougher and what a way to do it by getting a guy that can win you faceoffs and drop the gloves with success in one shift?!

    • Before the Leafs resigned Orr, Konopka could of made a lot of sense. They definitely use someone who could win faceoffs if Bozak is on the way out. We might have too many goons with Orr McLaren being regulars already.

    • I could see Edmonton making a run at Konapka. They need a face off guy with Horcoff & Belanger hitting the road. Bernier has been on their radar too now that Khabibulin is out.

  7. Why is Philly always linked to every big name expensive UFA or buyout candidate when they can barely afford the team they have now under the new cap. Richards now? Please…

    I guess Richards, LeCavalier, Bernier, Miller, and Letang are all going to Philly and somehow they will be able to afford them all…

    • Cause certain teams like the Rangers and Philly are always looking for a quick fix, have money and tend to overpay for players.

      • and intend to be idiots lol…

        • anyone remember how flyers were looking for a star goalie all these years and all of a sudden traded current raining vezina champion to the jackets lol?

          still one of the most hilarious hockey stories in recent memory. lol

          • Yeah that was pretty funny but not as funny as getting cheated in SC finals when Hull was in the crease. That’s my recent memory of hilarious hockey story.

          • Best laugh is how the maple leafs gave boston the team to compete with for the next decade with rask for raycroft and kessel for seguin and hamilton hahaha these guys could of been with toronto as we speak instead you have kessel the magician now you see him and now you dont

          • Uh Frank you realize Kessel has as many points in 1 series as Seguin in the entire playoffs right? And Kessel has scored 30 goals every year of his career accept his rookie year right while Seguin hasn’t done it yet, and Kessel has more points and goals then Seguin this year by 20 points over a 48 game schedule I may add and speaking of disappearing acts until this series Seguin has been pretty much a non factor right? Don’t get me wrong its not the finest trade ever made but it’s along way from a laughing stock careful the bandwagon don’t hit a bump in the road.

          • And how did that Kaberle deal work out by the way? Ya Rask hurts but JFJ was JFJ and so 3 managers ago lol

  8. JRD18,

    It seems weird to me that the Blues would tell other GM’s in advance to lay off the offer sheets with their team and specific players. What makes them so special above any other team? Would be fun to see all 4 of those mentioned being offer sheeted to a ridiculous amount and then watching Armstrong have to match it. Also, making such a public statement must be making these players agents absolutely salivate over the prospect of their clients being even more valued than they thought. The other angle of course could be that Armstrong is actually looking for one of them to be offersheeted in return for the picks it would yield. That would be bizarre, but stranger things have happened.

    • It happens every year and it normally starts with some media guy asking the gm if he is worried about an offersheet and the GM says he’d match it. Then it gets twisted around.

  9. I do not mind resigning Letang as long as Shero does not give him the same idiotic full-term full no-trade clause like he did to the moody unreliable Malkin.

    • Do you mean the moody,unreliable Malkin that is almost always at the top of the scoring race? 29 other teams would love that kind of “unreliable”

      • Yes, that guy. Apparently you do not see him play often and are just going by his stats sheet. Turnover machine, retaliatory penalty machine, pouter. It is almost like he is bipolar and you never know what you are going to get.

        • i dunno man if malkin is unreliable what does that make crosby, giroux, and stamkos?

          • Better and more reliable.

        • Pretty sure you just described Letang to a T. Malkin’s the one plays hard and creates offense in between retaliatory penalties.

  10. Letang’s numbers are a tad padded, but he’s still very skilled. Two years ago, Pittsburgh was still winning a lot of games with both their star players injured… that’s cuz Letang still proved he was very good without them.

    He’s still one of the best puck movers/pp d-men in the league. I don’t think he’s worth 7… only Karlsson and “complete” defensemen (good at both ends and can hit) are worth that much.

    • It’s not about what he is worth. It’s about demand and supply. How many teams are looking for prime PMD? 25? andthere are 7 decent PMD available?

      You see where I am going with it.

  11. Ducksfan93

    I agree Konopka would be a good replacement for Steckel.

  12. Hey Lyle. Can teams trade compliance buyout candidates and then re-sign them?

    For example: Could the Rangers trade Brad Richards to Tampa Bay for Vinnie LeCavalier. Both players would then get bought out; Richards by TB at 7 years 36 million remaining on the contract, LeCavalier by NY at 7 years 45 million remaining on his contract (that $9 million means nothing to Glen Sather). Both players would then be unrestricted free agents, able to sign with any team other than the one who bought them out. There are no guarantees that either player signs with their original team, but I don’t see LeCavalier wanting to play anywhere else.

    • Yes, they can do that. It’s a bit risky, as it could be challenged by the league, but as long as there’s no stated intent by the two teams involved in the deal that it’s being done for that reason, then it’s not considered circumvention.

    • I do not believe as far as I can tell a team can trade for a player and immediately buy them out. There are two windows—June and September. I am certain in September you cant because the rules explicitly say the player bought out had to be on the roster at the last trading deadline. I have not yet seen such a statement for the June buyout period.

      with the buyout—its 2/3 the remaining salary(2/3 of $45M is $30M) spread out over 2 times the number of years left on a contract. (7 yrs on contract means 14 years of buyout period)

  13. Important Note: I am NOT a Leafs fan, so I’m not coming at this from the “Leafs should sign everyone” end of the spectrum.

    But I do see Lecavalier as a great fit in T.O. if he’s bought out. He’s the big centre they’ve been talking about for years, and is still a solid NHL player – just not one worth his current contract. (a very important difference)

    They may not get him (if he even is bought out), but I’m sure they’d pursue him hard – and quite possibly end up with him.

    • The other day I had posted a similar thought.

      People tend to think Lecavalier has no interest in leaving the Tampa Bay area, maybe even retire if bought out.

      If he were to become an FA you have to imagine the Leafs would be interested as long as he can be productive in a scoring role. I would be happy if he could put up 60 points and help the top line elevate their game.

    • if they would take grabo then vinny would be a leaf

      • If they took Grabo you still need to buy out Vinny otherwise it’s a backwards move, Grabo has a bad contract sure which is why he would be dealt, but it’s a good one compared to Vinny’s anchor. Why would you trade a bad contract for a worse contract and call it even???
        Vinny is to be paid 10 mill this year and is a 7.7 mill hit with 7 more years on the deal No one in their right mind would trade for him with the purpose of keeping him, yes if the Lightning took Grabo Vinny maybe a Leaf if something came with him and he would only be a Leaf for a couple weeks before he was bought out and playing for Tampa by the beginning of the season. Now If Tampa ends up buying him out I could see the Leafs trying to work something out for him at a much shorter term and lower price.

  14. Luongo will be a Leaf soon, there is just too much that is obvious. Sure Reimer played very well, but to keep sugar-coating him being as a legit #1, is just ridiculous. This will likely be the trade:

    To Toronto: Luongo
    To Vancouver: Scrivens + 2nd rounder

    But if Nonis was smart, he would go after Halak, as Halak is on the rumor block once again as being possibly available…rumored either him or Elliot. What Nonis should do, is offer:

    To Toronto: Halak
    To St. Louis: Reimer + Frattin + 2nd rounder

    • I love toronto fans hopeless just stick with your team and build with young players stop trying to get quick fixes theres no such thing … teams that stick to their drafting and young talant go far, L.A, Bos, Pit, Chi, Det, …. hopefully nonis wants to win for the future and always instead of quick fixes that might work now…. think of dumb teams like the maple leafs missing out on seguin, hamilton, rask, .. montreal trading mcdonagh for gomez , S.J trading j.georges and m.paccioretty for c.rivet , philidelphia trading richards and carter at least philly got young talent in return but L.A won the cup … bos won the cup chi won the cup like how much proof do you need stick with what you got and im a montreal fan and im telling you to keep reimer forget louongo and those old goalies build for the future to be a dynasty in torontos case it’ll take 6 years if they draft good and not trade draft picks…. Montreal has learned their lesson lets see if toronto could follow suit …

    • I think tor could get luo for a late pick or mid range prospect. I would be surprised if van will get more at this point in the luo situation. Luo is a really good goalie and Gillis is an idiot for waiting this long. Gillis should be fired!!!

    • At this point I’ll be surprised if Van gets any player off any NHL roster for Lou, Someone (probably not the Leafs) may give up a second round pick or a second and a later round pick something along those lines, but honestly Van would be lucky to get that.

  15. The only real reason montreal isnt right up there with boston was because they dropped the ball when all their
    UFA’S left for nothing and at the trade deadline didnt trade any ….. S.Souray leading team in points could of got easily prospects and 1st rounder, j.weinieski easily a first rounder, M.Streit easily another 1st rounder
    The only D guy they got a 1st was C.Rivet, forwards now S.kovu could of got a 1st at trade deadline, A.Tanguay at that time a 1st, A.Kovalev even a 2nd or 3rd id take better then nothing,
    Montreal would of had at least 6 first round draft pick instead of only 1 pathetic G.Ms and they should be ashamed of themselves … How is it im not being paid as a G.M or even owner not see this anyways whats done is done but hopefully they learn and trade gionta at deadline and markov out with the old in with the new and if we would of had those extra 5 1st rounders montreal would be tops with Pit, Chi, Bos

    • Lmao hardly any ego here you da man Frank…if I owned a team I would hire you your sense of hindsight is impeccable.

  16. Hey Lyle,

    If Tampa does buy out Lecavalier, what do you think are the chances the Wings could sign him? Maybe for about 3.5 mill per year?

    Of course, at that time, Filpulla is a decent player for Tampa. But he could be a Florida player or even Washington(if they have cap room.) Maybe Montreal or Toronto might think that he’s a top line center.

    No, I am not a Leaf Fan….

    • Can’t get into hypothetical scenarios too much. Doubt the Wings would have interest in Lecavalier, unless it were for considerably less than $3.5 million and probably on a deal no more than two years.

  17. Vancouver please do something to improve the team. Gillis has done nothing but give the 4th line winger a 2 year one way deal for to much money. I’m just shocked he didn’t give him a not trade clause …. everyone else has one, even Higgins. Gillis is the worst GM in the league.

    • Top 3 anyway…tough call with Feaster and Homer tho IMO.

  18. Gillis can’t even hire a coach! 3 teams have rehired already. Is he waiting to see if Claude Julien or Joel Quesnville become available? After all, only one of them will be the coach of the Stanley Cup team.his logic would probably say the other one will gave to be fired!