NHL Morning Rumor Mill – June 5, 2014

Updates on Ales Hemsky, Kris Letang, Patrick Marleau, Ryan Callahan, Ryan Kesler and Brian Boyle, plus the latest on the Red Wings, Panthers and Sabres. 

Should the Senators pursue Ryan Callahan via free agency?

Should the Senators pursue Ryan Callahan via free agency?

OTTAWA SUN/EDMONTON JOURNAL: Bruce Garrioch believes it’s best for the Senators to part ways with Ales Hemsky, whose asking price to re-sign with them was $5.5 million per season. Garrioch speculates they could try to find a replacement winger via trade, noting the Senators had interest in Buffalo’s Chris Stewart earlier this season. Another option is free agency, where Garrioch agrees with TSN 1200’s Steve Lloyd that Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan might be a nice fit. Bruce McCurdy weighs in on speculation among the Oilersphere suggesting the Oilers try to bring back Hemsky, doubting that the 30-year-old winger wants to return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators stand a better chance of landing Stewart that Callahan, whose asking price to re-sign with the Rangers (over $6 million per season) led to his being dealt to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline. Hemsky’s not coming back to Edmonton. I can see him signing with the Predators, Coyotes or Panthers. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples reports on the possibility the Pittsburgh Penguins might shop defenseman Kris Letang, weighing the pros and cons of the Oilers pursuing him. While suggesting Letang could help the Oilers, he recommends investigating the blueliner’s health and availability.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Penguins shop Letang it’ll probably be by the NHL Draft weekend, as his new contract with its no-trade clause goes into effect on July 1. Letang has the offensive skills to help the Oilers but his defensive play has come under criticism. 

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka cites NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick believes the Sharks should retain Joe Thornton and trade Patrick Marleau.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems a lack of consensus among the media as to which veteran stars the Sharks should shop. 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports contract talks are ongoing between the Lightning and pending UFA winger Ryan Callahan.  Given his injury history, the key issue will be term. It’s unknown if Callahan is seeking the same six-year, $39 million he sought from the NY Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning must address this situation carefully. While there’s no denying Callahan’s skill and leadership, his style of play often leads to injury. They don’t want to invest too much for too long in him, but if they’re really keen to keep him they might not have much choice. 

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher doubts Canucks center Ryan Kesler will take back his trade request until he knows for certain who the club’s new head coach will be. Gallagher also considers David Booth, Jason Garrison and Alex Burrows among the candidates for the Canuck’s sole remaining compliance buyout. A decision will also need to be made about pending UFA center Mike Santorelli.

DETROIT FREE PRESS/DETROIT NEWS/MLIVE.COM: Helene St. James reports Red Wings GM Ken Holland is exploring the trade market and considering his free agent options, but also feels confident about the young talent on his roster. Ted Kulfan reports most of the Wings’ veteran UFAs, including David Legwand, Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Cleary and Kyle Quincey, won’t be re-signed. Holland said Mikael Samuelsson is heading to Sweden to finish his career. He hasn’t heard yet from Daniel Alfredsson, who will likely make a decision about his future until later this month. Ansar Khan reports the Wings would like to re-sign backup Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year contract.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross reports NY Rangers forward Brian Boyle knows this season could be his last with the club. He’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and the Rangers might not have sufficient cap space to re-sign him.

SPORTSNET.CA: Gary Joyce reports several sources confirm the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres, who hold the first and second overall picks in this year’s draft, are receiving multiple inquiries about those picks from rival clubs.


  1. Bruce Garrioch is an idiot. If he “believes it’s best for the Senators to part ways with Ales Hemsky, whose asking price to re-sign with them was $5.5 million per season”, why the hell would they be interested in Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan whose asking price is $500k more?!?!

    • Maybe because Callahan is an all around better player. I’d rather pay Callahan then Hemsky.

    • Cuz Hemsky needs work.

      Callahan is somewhat of a finished product.

    • Stewart makes way more sense than Callahan on sooo many levels for the Sens imo. Only thing is with letting Spezza and some of the Vets go if they go down that road they will need some big years from Zabinijad Ryan and some younger guys or it could be a long offensively challanged year.

      • I think if you can land a top 3 winger in a trade of Spezza then the Sens could be fine. Turris moves up to play the top line with Ryan and the new winger, Zibs moves up to play the 2nd line with MacArthur and Mark Stone or Matt Puempel can be given a look on his wing … or we seat what happens with Curtis Lazar after his performance this year. The thing is in Ottawa, they have so much youth that are ready they need to make space to give them playing time. Having Michalek & Hemsky walk, while trading Spezza is what is best for the long term future.

        I however wouldn’t mind the Sens getting Chris Stewart in a separate deal if they can move Spezza to grab a shutdown defenseman to play with Karlsson that can allow Ceci & Cowan to man the 2nd pairing while Methot and Phillips man the 3rd pairing.

      • If they don’t get a good return for Spezza and go with the young guys, then this team is headed towards Connor McDavid and certainly not the playoffs.

        I really don’t want them to get Stewart. A lot of not so good reports coming out from various media, etc that he’s kinda a lazy kind of player… I certainly don’t want a really good prospect going to Tim Murray in Buffalo. He has lots of draft picks, let him develop his own.

        His first request from the Sens for Stewart was Curtis Lazar.

    • Hemsky hasn’t scored more than 14 goals during the last 5 years. Not really impressive for a soft one way player. Callahan’s offensive numbers are a bit better-plus he brings a 2-way game with leadership.

  2. It’s funny how people think about contracts for players like Callahan even trading for kesler too. You can’t have a guy like that locked into a long term big money contract because of the way he plays. But what is the type of player every gm is looking for come playoff time every year? That very same guy that plays full out

  3. I am still surprised that Couture is never in the SJ trade rumors. I understand the youth movement, but again the guy is not the cornerstone of a Stanley Cup champion, he’s a solid second line center. I worry about the Sharks if he is their cornerstone. Trade him

    • Realistically I think Marleau is the guy that makes the most sense for the Sharks to move interms of getting the return needed or they want with out altering the core too much or effecting their youth. Keeping Thorton as a veteran presence.

      • The Sharks need to change their leadership dynamic. That unfortunately means it will have to be Thornton and not Marleau who goes. Thornton is a much bigger presence and I can’t see how replacing him as captain yet leaving him on the team would work. Marleau has already adjusted to that. Roenick has some personal beef with Patrick Marleau going on since J.R.’s time in SJ. It is no wonder that he is suggesting to trade Patty. He wanted that to happen while he was here.

    • Pavelski and Cotoure would make a great 1 and 2. That’ll only happen if the Sharks trade both of their veteran centers in Marleau and Thornton. I’d keep Thornton over Marleau.

      • Marleau is a winger.

        • I swear he’s played center before? If not my bad.

        • Yup Shticky I did some research Marleau is a center and left wing.

          • He hasn’t played as a C except in spot duty in several years. His days as are pretty done.

      • My question is, who is going to step into Marleau or Thorntons postion and put up 70-80 points if either or both get traded? We can discuss who we’d rather see stay or go but what player is going to replace them and their point production? I don’t have the answer, just wondering.

        • Hertl could be up for an unbelievable season next year. He was on pace for 50+ points this year before he got injured.

        • I think you could almost play a monkey on Thorntons wing and he would get ya 10-15 goals. Marleau might bring back a younger guy who has top 6 potential

          • I forgot about Hertl and what about Matt Moulson? Ouch Shticky, a monkey?! lol

    • Trade Couture? He’s one of their best players?

  4. Regarding the sportsnet article I believe that the Leafs will try hard move up to 1 of those spots what ever is easiest to aquire, and take Bennet, I think with some of the things that are floating around regarding interviews at the combine that Bennet would be their choice not Ekblad.

    • Out of the top 3 picks I think it is only Florida and Edmonton who will be shopping their top picks. Buffalo will stand pat. Unless of course the return is unbelievable and young Tim Murray won’t pull the trigger.

    • I would be curious to see what Buffalo does if that happens. Do they take Ekblad or Reinhart, whom I believe they are planning to take, assuming Ekblad would be taken with the first pick. Interesting dilemma for Murray.

  5. Burrows for a buyout makes no sense to me. He had one HORRIFIC season (this year) after many, many excellent ones. Even including his nightmare season last year, his numbers over the last 6 seasons for goals and PIM are comparable to Lucic. (Burrows: 135G, 563PIM // Lucic: 113G, 602PIM)

    I’m not saying he’s Lucic, but I’m saying I certainly wouldn’t use a compliance buyout on him!

    • I agree not sure with Booth on your team why you would consider buying out Burrows?
      Buy out Booth let Santorelli walk and your cap just got that much better. Trade Kessler while you can for a pretty decent return. 1 more injury filled or kind of off year and you are stuck with him.

    • Ya that would be a dumb idea. Garrison and Booth are the ones I’d look at buying out.

      On the Canucks part I read on tsn.ca that Edler is no longer available.

      • Trevor Linden likes Edler and he should, I’ve loved the way Edler plays since the first game he played in Vancouver. He is a great guy and Linden thinks with the right coaching he can still become a #1A defenseman, I think that is pushing it, but Edler is certainly a #2/3 guy on a team.

  6. Personally I don’t believe that Ottawa needs to trade for a Callahan or a Stewart, they have their own young top 6 guy who is itching for a chance to prove himself, Mark Stone. Stone has worked on his skating which was his biggest weakness holding him back. He has great IQ, good offensive senses and he plays in the dirty areas and has great size. Why trade for older more expensive versions of what you already have and Stone has better ceilings then both guys.

    Ottawa has great forwards developing in Stone, Puempel, Lazar, Prince, Pageau, and Grant who are all looking for a chance to make it in the bigs. Prince is probably a solid trade candidate, while Grant & Pageau are likely guys who will fill out the bottom 6 roles … but Stone, Puempel, and Lazar are all top 6 candidates for this team. Some size in the bottom 6 that can block shots and kill penalties, and a #1 shut-down defenseman should be what Ottawa is primarily focused on.

    Michalek & Hemsky should walk, ignore Stewart and Callahan, try and grab a shut down d and a bottom 6 winger for Spezza and let some of your future get a shot at playing with the club. If the Ducks really want Spezza then send them Spezza for Lovejoy, Maroon, and the #10 overall pick (try and get Fleury or Perlini). Lovejoy improved his defensive game by leaps and bounds this season and I’d say is strong enough to fill in the top slot with Karlsson, while Maroon will give you size and a bit of offensive edge to play the 3rd line … plus being able to get another prospect back in the system. Spezza is WORTH more in my eyes, I just don’t see him GOING for more.

    • The thing is Stone isn’t top 6 right now.

      • You have to give him the time to prove he can be, Stone would have paced around 35-40 points 12-15 goals playing in the bottom 6 based on the 19 games he played. He gets into the dirty areas in would be a great compliment to Zibinejad IMO.

  7. Dan Boyle just got traded to Islanders for a conditional pick.

    • “Here Wilson, take my draft pick. I do not want it.”

      “Oh wow, thanks Garth.”

    • I would assume he would want to test free agency to see what is out there before committing to the Islanders..

    • Garth is giving those picks away to make sure he is not giving away McDavid next year, I could see him giving Boyle alot of money to help with all the young d for the Islanders, Ill give him this finnally starting to seem like he is actually trying to put a team together. Another move or 2 besides signing Boyle and I could see the Islanders doing alot better in the east next year.

      • It’s a 5th round pick. Snow did the same thing with Ehroff a few years ago, he didn’t want to sign so Snow traded his rights to buffalo. Could do the same. It’s a low risk gamble.

    • No way that Boyle signs with the Islanders.

  8. Spector,
    What about the Red.Wings trading Franzen in a deal for Kesler?

  9. Would a lupul, the 8th pick, carter verhaeghe, and maybe a 3rd or 4th round pick for the 1st be fair?
    Or what about a phaneuf, kadri and maybe a 3rd or 4th round pick to the oilers for the 3rd pick and sam gagner(since he seems to be on the outs there and has a bigger contract than kadri) be fair?

    • Phaneuf and Kadri in any combination is too much for a pick why would you want Gagner at a higher cap hit and less points to play 2 c? Its not like he is great defensively either. Phaneuf is Torontos best d Kadri is a 23 year old center with close to 100 points over the past 2 years with little pp time and playing with Clarkson for the most part this year. This deal is little better than all the other madness thats floating around its not a great draft and these picks have proved nothing. What happens if the pick is a bust? Kadri was a 5 pick that is pretty good and still developing only 2 years in the league. It doesnt make a whole lot of sense to me to add Phaneuf on top another pick to move up 2 spots from where you picked Kadri in a stronger draft . The player you are getting could very well not be as good as Kadri.