NHL Morning Rumor Mill – March 18, 2014

Latest on Tyler Myers, Christian Ehrhoff, Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno, Sean Couturier and more. 

Did the Sabres receive any decent offers for Tyler Myers?

Did the Sabres receive any decent offers for Tyler Myers?

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray will begin contract talks with RFAs Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno to gauge their interest in re-signing long term. Murray also said he didn’t receive any offers remotely close enough to make him consider moving defensemen Tyler Myers and Christian Ehrhoff, adding the latter’s cap recapture penalties toward the end of his contract are a concern which affects trade scenarios…Friedman hopes someday we’ll find out how many times Flyers GM Paul Holmgren rejected trade offers for Sean Couturier, who’s become an elite shutdown forward…The Coyotes depth at center could shift their off-season trade target toward adding an Adrian Aucoin or Michal Roszival-type defenseman…Friedman wonders how much input Oilers owner Daryl Katz could have in any attempt to trade Nail Yakupov. He claims Katz was thrilled earlier this season with the idea of moving Yakupov…Ilya Kovalchuk said he’ll see about a return to the NHL when his KHL contract expires. He has three more years left on that deal and will be 33 when it expires.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ennis is 24 and coming off his second NHL contract, while the 22-year-old Foligno is completing his entry-level contract.  Ennis could get at least a four-year extension. Foligno, however, might be a two-year bridge deal candidate…I think Murray has deliberately set the asking price for Myers very high to discourage interest in him. I’ve previously noted the expensive salary cap recapture penalties for Ehrhoff, which significantly penalize the Sabres in the final two years of the deal…Couturier might not become a significant offensive player but there’s no denying his strong defensive skills. His name will keep popping up in the rumor mill but I don’t believe the Flyers will part with him…The Coyotes could find an affordable option via this summer’s free agent market…Unless the Oilers receive a significant offer for Yakupov they should retain him and hope to develop his game…I can see Kovalchuk returning to the NHL in three year’s time. It’ll depend upon his family, but if they’re fine with it, he could return. 


  1. Good luck fto Kovalchuk in finding an NHL team willing to lay out big bucks to someoen who walked away from his lats mega-million deal.
    It is difficult enough to plan with Cap forward thinking when you know how much money you can spend. Why place your teams future in the hands of a signing who may stay, or may go?

    • I completely agree. How ironic that Kovalchuk is actually willing to honor his KHL contract. That’s a new one.

    • Wasn’t this more a product of NJ ownership wanting to rid the team of a large financial burden going into the lockout? From what I’ve read around the web, the fact that Kovalchuk was Russian, and could still make significant money in the KHL was simply a convenient excuse for NJ to send him packing. Isn’t it also convenient how the NHL also just rescinded part of NJ’s penalty for the Kovalchuk contract? $1.5M and a compensatory 1st round pick given back.

    • Since Kovy ‘retired’ from the NHL (which enabled him to break his contract), he must get permission from the NHL to return, which is a complicated process. It’s not simply a matter of signing a new contract with some team.

      • Nope, only if he came back within a year.

        • If Kovalchuck is good enough to still play in the NHL (after the way he looked in the Olympics Im not so sure but…) someone would give him a contract its ridiculous to think otherwise, it wont be a long term deal perhaps, but if he makes your team better you are not going to say. “no thanks Kovi we dont need your goals after that whole NJ thing…” Its not like he commited a crime or anything like that, and NJ cash strapped owner who was trying to sell the team that was losing money hand over fist was shedding no tears over not paying the rest of that contract. It may not have been great for the fans but Kovalchuck was almost doing the owner a favor.

  2. I thought the rumor was that Katz disuaded management from drafting the safe bet in Murray and instead draft the more dynamic Yakupov… The media is so hard on this kid. He has only played 100 games in the NHL, he’ll need some time. The guys around the team say he’s anything but a prima donna and is a great teammate. If traded, it had better be worth it.

  3. “The Coyotes depth at center “?
    Ribeiro’s 42.6% FO wins
    Hanzal just returned after missing the last 7 games
    37 yo (38 in May) Halpern will be a UFA again
    Vermette is the only consistent & healthy center for the Coyotes. Their priority should be in bringing in help for the penalty kill, a bottom pair, shut down RHD, and a finisher, who can take face offs for Ribeiro.

  4. Off the subjects but I keep thinking about the Rangers getting St. Louis from Tampa.
    Marty is what 38 ? The potential give back is #1 in 2014 and #1 2015 as I recall if
    things go a certain way. Just read in the Hockey News Future Watch that Rangers are
    near bottom in prospects. What gives here, if your near the bottom in prospects and
    you may end up trading 2 #1’s for a 38 year old, it really sends a signal to the fans.
    Could it be that Sather plans to retire in the next year or two and is willing to leave
    the system empty if he win a cup or come close to winning a cup ?
    Don’t understand what’s happening in NYR land ? What am I missing ?

    • A few years back the Rangers had a very deep young talent both in the nhl and elsewhere. It seems a lot of them were either busts, were moved elsewhere, or are a part of the team today. They were doing great for a while drafting, but it seems that Sather has just become impatient with the youth and draft process and has returned to the old ways of loading up with guys that will not perform to their contracts. Nash, Richards, etc. This team seems to be trying to reinvent itself in the last year, starting with the departure of AA and Dubinsky. (A trade I wanted no part of as a fan) Sather seems to be in desperation mode. I understand he has a lot of pieces there that can, and want to win now, I just don’t see it happening this year. Hopefully he can work some magic at the draft. Sadly our best prospects are nothing more than career Ahl’ers or bottom 6 forwards.

      • Thank You. Sather is what 70 ? If he is thinking short term shouldn’t the NYR ownership see a conflict here with a short term GM and possible agenda conflict ?

  5. IMO I don’t think Kovalchuk should be welcomed back into the NHL. Bottom line – he broke his contract to retired and then signed a similar contract in the KHL. So stay there. I would think that if he wants to come back to the NHL, NJ should be allowed to keep him or trade him.

    • How many pro athletes have “retired” to get out of a situation or for a team to get out of a contract situation and moved on to play somewhere else more to their liking?
      Its ridiculous how much is being or has been made of Kovalchuck. He wanted to play somewhere else and the team didn’t really mind the fact that they wouldn’t have to pay him, move on. Its probably crossed the minds of more than a few other NHLers lately and not to mention Favre LaFleure and others.

      • If he was a good ol Canadian/American boy it would be a way smaller issue, Im sure. Jordan retired to play freaking baseball came back and then retired and went to a different NBA team.

        • 100% agreeing with you, Shticky, especially with examples like Favre, Roger Clemens, etc

  6. The Sabres do not have many players of value remaining to trade. Myers and Ehrhoff are valuable defensemen underestimated by other teams. If Murray could not get players, prospects and draft picks in return for them, it made sense to move on.

    The Sabres will have two defensemen spots open assuming Alexander Sulzer and Henrik Tallinder go on the free agent market.

    • Tallinder I believe will resign. Sulzer will leave via free agency and McBain will be traded. Weber will be a question mark also. I’d buy out both Weber and Leino this summer.

  7. The Sabres would do well to trade Foligno, most likely next season when his value might be higher. This guy is not the player his father was and has hands of stone.

    I keep wondering if the Sabres didn’t pick up Nichushkin because they felt that Folgino was their power forward. Foligno will never be Nichushkin.

    • I know man I was pissed. I would’ve loved a forward defense with Nichuskin and Zadorov in last season’s draft. Especially since we have no wingers.

  8. Buffalo drafted two stud D in 2013 Ristolainen and Zadorov. Potential for Ekblad in this years draft. Their back end will be set for years without Myers and Ehrhoff who are very over paid.

    • The funny thing is we could end up with pick 1 and 2 this offseason. Both Calgary and Edmonton are playing pretty good. So I think 2nd and 3rd last is between the Isles and Panthers. I’m hoping Islanders defer the pick to next season. With them losing MacDonald and Vanek they will be worse. Imagine Sabres landing both Eichel and McDavid in 2015 draft;) lol. That would be insane.

  9. Myers isn’t going anywhere. Like I’ve said many times before.

    Sabres should get rid of Foligno ASAP. He still has potential, but other then that flash he had during his first call-up (12 points in 14 games or something along those lines.)

    Hey Spector so if Ehrhoff retires before his contract is up and isn’t traded do the Sabres still have to pay a penalty?

  10. Do ppl real think the flyers or another NJ rival would really not take Kovy because he burned the Devils? I mean if I’m one of those teams I’m happy he bailed and would welcome him with open arms if he can still play, which he can. It would be a 3 year deal maybe 4 Max, but I would take him.

    Also the fact he will have less wear on his body from playing in the KHL would make me want Kovy. Look at what Jagr did to revive his career. Before he left he looked like crap, not interested in playing and lazy. He goes back closer to home for a few years And comes back refreshed and a lot better then when he left. Now Kovy was still at the top of his game when he left but there is no reason to think he can’t have the same game if/when he returns.