NHL Morning Rumor Mill – June 21, 2013.

The latest on Bobby Ryan, James Neal, Kris Letang, Vinny Prospal, Sergei Kostitsyn, Damien Brunner and more.

Should the Senators pursue Daniel Briere?

Should the Senators pursue Daniel Briere?

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren believes if the Penguins re-sign Kris Letang they’ll need to dump salary, suggesting winger James Neal could be available. If so, the Senators should target Neal…The Anaheim Ducks could be in the same boat with Bobby Ryan, whom Warren also suggests as a trade target for the Senators…He also suggests soon-to-be former Flyer Daniel Briere might be a good fit if long-time Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson opts to retire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Neal or Ryan become available in the trade market, the Senators won’t be the only clubs with serious interest in them. Same goes for Briere. Still, it would be worthwhile for Senators GM Bryan Murray to make inquiries.

POST-GAZETTE.COM: Shelly Anderson reports Penguins GM Ray Shero has opened contract talks with Kris Letang (eligible for UFA status next summer) and Pascal Dupuis (eligible for UFA status this summer).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent rumblings suggest the Penguins could re-sign Dupuis but shop Letang if the latter won’t accept a hometown discount. We should have a clearer picture on their respective statuses by this time next week.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets pending UFA forward Vinny Prospal and his family have moved their furniture out of their rented home into storage and headed back to the Czech Republic. He would like to re-sign with the Blue Jackets but contract talks have reportedly stalled. Portzline also reported the Blue Jackets management has no intention of using their compliance buyouts this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The priority is getting Sergei Bobrovsky under contract. They must also re-sign RFA forward Artem Anisimov, plus either re-sign or replace Michael Leighton. It’s possible Prospal may have played his final game with the Jackets.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper noted a report out of Russia claiming Predators winger Sergei Kostitsyn is in contract talks with Avangard Omsk of the KHL, suggesting the Predators wouldn’t object to Kostitsyn leaving.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the KHL continues to honor existing NHL contracts, Kostitsyn wouldn’t be allowed to join Avangard Omsk unless the Predators agreed to either suspend Kostitsyn or “loan” him to the KHL team. His salary wouldn’t count against the Predators cap space if he’s suspended, and as he’s one year away from UFA status, the Predators probably wouldn’t fight to “toll” that final season forward. If he’s loaned overseas, I believe under the new CBA the Predators would only get around $1 million in cap relief.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James reports the Red Wings and pending UFA forward Damien Brunner continue to work on a new contract.  She wonders if the Wings try to re-sign him to another one-year deal, or a multi-year one, as well as how much he’s worth based on this season’s performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think there’s a mutual desire to get a deal done here. Perhaps a two-three year deal worth just over $2 million per could suffice.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello isn’t contemplating any compliance buyouts this summer. There was some speculation blueliner Anton Volchenkov could become a compliance buyout candidate. It’s also believed the Devils will make every effort to re-sign pending UFA forward Patrik Elias.


  1. Neal won’t become available. The very idea is just laughable. They’ll trade Fleury and Martin before Neal.

    • No team would take Fleury.

      • Pens are going to hire a new goalie coach and give Fleury one more shot … i think it’s a waste of time but you are right, they couldn’t give him away right now …

      • A team that needs to get to the cap floor would.

        • The Florida Pathers would take Fleury in a heart beat. He is better than what they got!

          • Markstrom is better than Fleury.

          • At least in Florida, Fleury wouldn’t have to worry about collapsing in the playoffs….. (rimshot)….

          • Will people stop saying Markstrom is better than Fleury or Luongo . He’s not even a starter yet. He could be better but at this point in time he is not!!

        • I don’t believe the Isles have interest in him.

    • Neal is not the player his numbers suggest. Great skill sure, but not much between the ears.

      • Without Crosby and Malkin, Neal is a slightly above average player.

        • Just kidding, he’s good!

  2. Shero didn’t give all that $ to Malkin to pass to Dustin Jeffrey … Neal isn’t going anywhere … i’d dump Letang before him …

    • You got that right, plus if neal continues to put in 40 per season, his $5 Million cap hit becomes a bargain.

  3. i think MAF is gone regardless! i think he’ll get traded Draft day.

  4. If letang is not signed by the draft then he will probably be traded. They could use the money saved to fill out the roster and get a 6-15 pick this year, plus some prospects. Edmonton could possibly do it with 7th overall, Paajarvi (RFA), Klefbom, and Musil (and/or another prospect).

    • a far stretch BUT…MAF, Letang and a 3rd rd pick to COL for the 1st overall, E Johnson, Varlamov and 2nd rd picks. ??

      • Not gonna happen. As a Pens fan, the Avs would be dumb to do that.

      • Dear god….

    • A few deals I had in mind:

      Tlusty, McBain and the #5 pick for Letang (with an extension)
      Smid, Paajarvi and the #7 pick for Letang (with an extension)
      Purcell, Barbario and the #3 pick for Letang (with an extension)

      Any of those I’d be happy with. Also, your deal was the same that I was lobbying for about 3 weeks, then I was told about Smid.

      • None of the top seven are trading their picks for Letang – believe me.

        • So a Norris finalist couldn’t even get a top-7 pick? Good joke. Look at what Staal got last year. That’s significantly lower than what Letang will get.

          • Letang’s been a Norris finalist only once. Sure he’s a great offensive D-man, but part of that is the quality of players that surround him. He might go for 6th or 7th overall, but definitely not for a top 5 in this year’s draft. This is a blue chip draft. Remember the teams picking at the top of the draft are building for the future.

          • How do you determine that? Because you think so? Such a reliable source…

            The only D that has a chance to reach Letang’s level is Jones, and that’s only a chance. There is this stupid idea among hockey fans that potential>established talent. It’s not. The teams at the top of the draft (specifically Tampa and Carolina) have both said that they are looking to move the pick for a top-4 or a top-2 D. It doesn’t matter who’s being picked, Letang would get more than a top-5 pick. It’s asinine to think otherwise.

        • Chip Alexander ‏@ice_chip 1m
          Hearing Canes could trade No. 5 pick and move down on draft day if their draft target is taken in top four picks. Unlikely Canes to move up.

  5. “Edmonton could possibly do it with 7th overall, Paajarvi (RFA), Klefbom, and Musil (and/or another prospect).” lol but would they thats a steep price for someone the pens won’t be able to afford to keep. Edmonton won’t give up on a good young defender like Klefbom

    • So they won’t give up a young good PROSPECT for a NORRIS finalist? Haha, maybe that’s why they have missed the playoffs for so many years.

      You don’t get players of Letang’s caliber for a bunch of B level prospects. My deal above (Smid, Paajarvi and the #7 pick) could get it done, maybe throw in another prospect.

      • You are dreaming. The Oilers would never make that deal.


          Have fun missing the playoffs again. Don’t you love idiots? Prospects>NHL proven talent. Might as well give up Letang for a 7th round pick, since he won’t get any more. HAHA such a joke. Norris finalist? Screw that, he’s worthless.

          • Edmonton won’t give up Smid even for a Norris finalist. They would be closing one hole only to open another one. Bad trade that way. You are right though that Edmonton is at a point where giving up a good prospects for proven talent makes sense for them.
            Oh and as a Habsfan, not even I put as much stock into any of the awards given in such a short season. N ot saying the guys are not great players but still think some of these guys have something to prove.

          • No, it wasn’t the deal with Smid, it was the deal posted by Stepehen and an Oilers fan said they wouldn’t trade Klefbom in a deal for Letang. It’s understandable with Smid, he’s a rock.

    • Klefbom should be a good NHL 3-4 deman but he’s not going super star. I’m not a Pit or Ed fan. But if ed is interested in Letang then they are going to have to part with some prospects. Pit wont take much salary back. Paajarvi is not a proven top 6 forward. The biggest asset going the to Pit is the 7th pick.

      • To Edmonton: Letang
        To Pittsburgh: Klefbom + RNH

        • Why would the Pens do that? They don’t need a center at all. Change that to Yak and it makes more sense.

  6. Neal isn’t going anywhere except to the Penguin’s locker room.

  7. Hoping the Sens can either successfully trade for Bobby Ryan or Thomas Vanek and then sign Bryan Bickell this off season.

    • Any team not named Philadelphia that trades for Ryan is only going to have him for 2 yrs.

      Once he hits UFA (in 2 yrs) he will go to Philly.

      I don’t want the Sens to pay the high price for him only to have to trade him in just over a season and will not get the same value they gave up.

      No to Ryan.

      • Sorry I missed it when Bobby Ryan came out and said “I will only play for Philly, I only want to play for Philly, no other team but Philly.” … The everyone to Philly rumors are worse than the Toronto rumors have ever been.

        • @ JJB agreed lol and yet they sit there and say we are nuts, I’m pretty sure Bobby will go wherever the money is best and the team has a chance at winning, If Philly continues to spend to the ceiling and dosent have room for him or don’t make the playoffs why would he go there? I doubt he is going to sign a contract for half of what he would make on the open market to play for a team that has cap issues and finnished 9th because that was his favorite team. Take it from a Leaf fan lots of players favorite team growing up were the Leafs very few of them “come home” lol

  8. Chris Letang will play for Canada in the next Olympics……. ’nuff said.

    • On a bigger ice surface with a less physical game with more superstars to pass to he might be alright lol

  9. Just to keep us from getting bored before draft day, the plan is that Vancouver will sign Tortorella as coach,
    then Sather & Gillis will have breakfast Sunday morning June 30 ( just before draft) and announce that
    Vancouver is trading to NY Tortorella and Luongo / coming to Vancouver will be Vigneault and Richards.
    Just to Pee off the media in both cities.

    • Gillis is an idiot and should be fired.

  10. Kris Letang is overrated and I’m as big of a Penguins fan as anybody. He’s all skill, no brains. Someone will pay him some big money, but it won’t be Pittsburgh. He wasn’t our best NHL dman, and we have a few more on the way to replace him. He can’t QB a PP or hit the net and is usually out of position. He’s a damn good player, just not as good as people think he is. PMD are in high demand, the time to trade him is now. Look for what Gonchar was just signed. As long as PMartin keeps up like he did this year, I won’t miss Letang…especially with what somebody will give for him.

    • And Fluery was done 3 years ago

  11. Neal isn’t going anywhere, he is too valuable for their 2nd and 1st line. Big power-winger! Shero should:

    To Pittsburgh: Burrows + Edler
    To Vancouver: Letang