NHL Morning Rumor Mill – June 4, 2013.

Determining the destinations of several notable NHL goalies this summer, plus the latest on Sergei Bobrovsky,  Nail Yakupov, Bryan Bickell and Ian White.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch speculates over the potential destinations this summer of several notable NHL goalies. He suggested the Phoenix Coyotes could be a good fit for Buffalo Sabres starter Ryan Miller if they stay in their current location, and if they haven’t re-signed Mike Smith. Garrioch doubts Chicago’s Ray Emery gets a long-term deal this summer but will have the chance to be a starter wherever he goes as a UFA. Garrioch also wondered if Ben Bishop is ready to be a starter in Tampa Bay, if Miikka Kiprusoff will retire, if the Oilers are sold on Devan Dubnyk as their starter, if the Panthers are ready to make Jakob Markstrom their starter and if Tim Thomas will return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Coyotes re-sign Smith, forget about Miller going to Phoenix. The fact Emery hasn’t seen any playing time this spring leads me to believe he’ll test the UFA market. Determining where he could go remains to be seen. Bishop is ready to be a starter. Kiprusoff is expected to make a decision on his future later this summer. I think the Oilers believe in Dubnyk, but will seek an experienced, healthy backup. Markstrom could get his chance next season with Scott Clemmenssen as his backup. Remains to be seen what Thomas does.

Could the Oilers trade Nail Yakupov?

Could the Oilers trade Nail Yakupov?

Garrioch also reports Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray has been getting calls for winger Bobby Ryan but he’s resisted. Even with the cap dropping, Murray wants to retain Ryan…There’s been no contract talks between the Winnipeg Jets management and UFA defenseman Ron Hainsey…There’s talk the Oilers could move Nail Yakupov to bring back a return which could get them into the playoffs…

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray doesn’t have to shop Ryan, but with the cap dropping for next season, only $4.882 million in projected cap space and several key players to re-sign or replace, the Ducks will have to free up some cap space somehow…I doubt the Jets re-sign Hainsey…I’m not convinced the Oilers will part with Yakupov after only one season. They’re willing to shop their first round pick (seventh overall), and could try to move Sam Gagner if his asking price to re-sign proves too steep. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Michael Arace reports it will be expensive for the Blue Jackets to re-sign Vezina nominee Sergei Bobrovsky, who could receive an expensive offer from KHL team St. Petersburg. Negotiations between Bobrovsky’s agent and the Blue Jackets “have not gained traction”, but GM Jarmo Kekalainen has made it known he’ll match any offer sheet for the goalie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s understandable why the Blue Jackets are leery about overpaying for a goalie they’ve had for only one season, and a shortened one at that. Still, if he wins the Vezina, his asking price could jump to over $5 million per season. Ultimately, the Jackets could have little choice but to either re-sign him, or trade him and bring in a more affordable option.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Mark Lazerus reports the strong playoff performance of Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell could make him too expensive to re-sign. Bickell is eligible for UFA status this summer and would attract considerable interest if he tests the market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bickell could command over $3 million on the open market this summer. Never underestimate the ability of NHL GMs to succumb to auction fever in the opening days of free agency. With the salary cap dropping and the Blackhawks carrying a projected $2.094 million in cap space, they cannot afford to re-sign Bickell unless they shed salary elsewhere.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ian White is preparing to move on via unrestricted free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The addition of Danny DeKeyser and the improvement of Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl makes White the odd man out on the Detroit blueline.


  1. I HATE MacT , if they trade Yak everyone in management should be fired !!!

    • Hmmm some would say they should have been fired already, Lowe and all his lackies… A monkey could have made those picks (no Brainer first overall and top 5 safe picks) yet this team continues to spin it wheels near the bottom of the conference, so far all the front office has shown is that they can make high picks with out drafting busts (some that haven’t developed quite aswell as expected but not complete busts anyway…) what they definitely haven shown any sign of is knowing how to build some kind of competitive team….

    • Yak could be another Ovechkin or Malkin given the opportunity. HUGE mistake to trade this guy. I would love to see him in Detroit to re-ignite Datsyuk’s passion but don’t think Edmonton would take the risk of having the trade come back to haunt them for years. Hemsky,7th pick and sadly Sam Gagner could be traded for the defensive help they need. If the Niedereiter to Edmonton rumours have any truth i’d be interested to see who goes the other way.

  2. There will be a GM out there at will give Bickell a 4 year / 16.0 M (4.0/yr) contract. He’s this years Dustin Penner but atleast he seems to have more drive and is more physical.
    Yakupov will stay an oiler and I can’t see the oilers moving up unless its to make sure they get Nurse (but I think he will be there at the seven spot).
    There are lot of top goalies with $5-6 million contracts available. Will be interesting to see if any move if Smith doesn’t and where ever Luongo ends up.

    • If a GM does he will soon be unemployed…..

    • I think that Red Wings GM Ken Holland would be stupid enough to give Bickell that kind of money he’s exactly what the Wings need going over to the East next season.

      • Are you serious? Ken Holland is one of the best GM’s out there! Give your head a shake man

  3. I can see the Flames chase after Bernier and offer draft pick(s) to the Kings, I know they reportedly have some good future goalie prospects but Feaster has to win some games or he is going to be playing golf every six months twice a year. The Flames have 9 Draft picks in the first six round, including 3 in the first round, 2 in the fifth, and up to 3 in the seventh depending on conditions, for a total of between 10 and 13 overall picks in the draft. LA has to start stocking the cupboards again ( and selecting higher in the draft ) to maintain their position in the future.

  4. I can see Murray ( Ottawa ) going hard after Bickell. Bickell played 4 yrs jr. in Ottawa , that could be a selling point if he enjoyed his previous stay.
    He picked a good time to turn it up a notch. Given the chance to play top minutes with better players I can see him being a good addition to most teams.

    • Bickell’s wife is from Ottawa as well.. whether than makes a difference or not.

      I really can’t see Chicago letting him go.

      As for Ryan… I believe he goes to UFA in 2 yrs.. He wants to play in Philly. So at some point Anaheim will have to trade him.

      I certainly don’t want the Sens to give up good prospects for a 2 yr rental of Ryan.. because that’s all it would be.

    • No, they are looking for an impact scoring forward to replace Alfie not a Bickell.

  5. I can see backstrom the goalie in either edmonton or toronto, with emery in minnesota to split with harding.
    If edmonton trades yakopov or one of their other young guys they had better be getting kris letang, shea webber or zedeno chara because anything else won’t be what will help them win now.
    What would a package be to get thornton? D man, top 6 forward and 1st? More?
    I can’t see toronto doing that if its only for a year. They already have to worry about re signing phaneuf and kessel.

    • Thornton has a NMC, and loves living in the bay area. Sharks are stacked on D and are strong down the middle. It would cost another team their 1st, a good prospect and a top 6 forward to get him away from Doug Wilson

      • Hmmm its a 7 million dollar hit tho I’m betting less the that a pick and good young player that is already in the NHL no prospects ect…. Potential Top six type young guy and a first.

    • In this new hard cap era things have change.

      With a $64.3M cap teams would allocate $36M for forwards and $25M for Dmen/Goalies . Teams can’t carry 4 forwards making $6M or more per season. Yakipov and RNH will demand a higher price than the $6M given to Eberle and Hall. Thus about $26M would go to just those 4 which leaves $10M to spread around the other 10 players. RNH is due in 2014 and Yakipov in 2015–so by then the cap wont be up that much —about the amount to cover what they are paid in excess of $6M.

      i see one of Hall/Eberle/Yakipove being traded for 3 players…a vet Dman, a 3rd line character guy and either a pick or another 3rd/4th line character guy.

      A good example of this would be to deal Eberle to Boston for Kelly/Peverley , Boychuk, and another player or pick. another team would be Pittsburgh where they may trade Martin or Letang. Another place would be Vancouver as part of a deal for Edler.

      • Why does everyone want to trade Hall/Eberle/Yakupov? I think they will all be better than RNH. I like RNH but I think he will get eaten in the playoffs next year (yes I think they will make it and I really don’t like the oilers). But I wouldn’t trade any of them and sign a proven de man (they will come with all the potential in Edmonton… finally.) Trade Gagner if you need to make a trade; even for a bigger center with less scoring ability.

        • Trade Gagner for a top 4 Dman not another forward.

    • They may go after Mark Streit as he is not resigning with the NYI. Good for the powerplay but, not much else….

      • I don’t know what Streit wants…. Money or a chance at a cup. He went to NYI for money. Either way I don’t see him in Edmonton. They should try Winnipeg. Wpg’s 1st (13th overall), bogosian and Burmistrov for Edm 1st (7th), Gagner. This won’t happen but I think its fair for both teams. (I’m not a huge fan for either team)

  6. Arace has never been right in any of his predictions about Blue Jackets’ signings. No one herre in Columbus pays attention to his verbal masturbation, I don’t see why anyone else would.

  7. Bob Murray is clearly out of his mind if he’s not going to trade Bobby Ryan for assets we can use…seriously, is he that blind for seeing that Bobby Ryan doesn’t want to play in Anaheim anymore? This is exactly why the Ducks can’t get past the first round, because of pending stupid decisions like this and the inability to make big moves that take them to the next step.

    • Yep, never get more value for Ryan than right now and the closer you get to the ending of his contract, the less you will get. Ducks are loaded with young forward prospects so trade Ryan for picks and a defenseman prospect. Can also use the 5 million in cap savings for other assets.

  8. Apparently AVS are set to hire Francois Allaire as their new goalie coach. Ramp up the Hiller to AVS and Luongo to AVS rumours, as they are both disciples in addition to Giguere and Patrick Roy.

  9. Oilers should consider moving Hall if they can loot another squad. Hall will bring a good return compared to whoever else they move. RNH and Yakupov are still too unproven. Loot a team and bring in some winners and a good young stud. A lot of teams would be gunning for him.

    That’s what Boston did when they moved Thornton. Oilers are too used to losing right now, they need to bring in guys that are used to winning.

    • Exactly this…