NHL Morning Rumor Mill – March 22, 2014.

The latest on the Hurricanes, Senators, Oilers and Capitals.

Could the Hurricanes trade Eric Staal this summer?

Could the Hurricanes trade Eric Staal this summer?

NBC SPORTS: Jason Brough cited a report from TSN’s Darren Dreger claiming big changes could be in store for the Carolina Hurricanes this summer. Dreger believes a Cam Ward trade “likely in the summer”, plus forwards Jeff Skinner or Eric Staal could be in play. It’s also possible there could be coaching or management changes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Hurricanes have only made the playoffs once since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006, I believe a management change is overdue. Coach Kirk Muller could be in danger of losing his job. As for Ward, his name has kicked around the rumor mill this season. He’ll have to agree to waive his no-trade clause. He also has a long injury history and two years (at an annual cap hit of $6.3 million) remaining on his contract, which could prove tough to move unless the Hurricanes pick up part of his remaining salary. I doubt Eric Staal gets moved as he remains the Hurricanes’ franchise player, plus they gave up a fair bit to acquire brother Jordan from the Penguins two years ago. Skinner would attract considerable interest in the trade market but he also has a history of concussion injuries. 

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren examines how to starting fixing the Senators this summer. He believes management has to decide to re-sign goalie Craig Anderson or risk losing him next summer to free agency. He also feels defenseman Patrick Wiercioch could be dealt. Warren noted the Anaheim Ducks recent interest in Senators captain Jason Spezza and wonder if Spezza could grow weary of being the whipping boy for the club’s struggles. He also believes the Senators must make a decision with Bobby Ryan, who (like Anderson) is due to become a UFA next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anderson’s solid goaltending over the previous two seasons covered up the Senators obvious defensive problems. Given his recent injuries and UFA status next summer,  it may be best to shop Anderson (the NY Islanders and Calgary Flames could be interested) and hand the reins to Robin Lehner.  A lot could depend on Spezza’s willingness to remain a long-term part of the Senators future. Murray can open contract talks with Spezza this summer, and if he’s unwilling to commit long-term it might be worthwhile to shop him in early-July for the best return possible. He has a cap hit of $7 million but will earn $4 million in actual salary. His no-trade clause, however, is a sticking point. Same goes for Ryan, who could be easier to move as he lack a movement clause. His cap hit for next season is $5.1 million. 

EDMONTON SUN: Terry Jones notes the Oilers lack defensive depth and wonders why they haven’t contacted the Buffalo Sabres, who have depth on the blueline but lack scoring depth.

CALGARY SUN: Randy Sportak believes the Oilers would be crazy to give up on struggling sophomore Nail Yakupov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yakupov, however, could be the necessary trade chip if the Oilers want to bolster their blueline depth. Could he be packaged for, say, Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers? Just spitballing here.

WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera reports Jaroslav Halak’s agent, Allan Walsh, hasn’t had any contract talks yet with the Capitals. “We’re not going to approach those discussions until the end of the season,” Walsh said. “It makes absolutely no sense to be talking when a team is on the cusp of making the playoffs and trying to make the playoffs. It’s just not the right time.”


  1. Yakupov for Myers? No Thanks!

    Everyone knows it takes defensemen longer to develop and Myers is coming around nicely. Yakupov appears to be a kid with a lot of issues. Why would the Sabres give up a guy who is coming into his own for a kid that hasn’t shown he can deliver the goods?

    If the Sabres trade Myers it will be for a more established forward than Yakupov.

    • I can see Myers for Skinner being as the main pieces in a deal between the Hurricanes and Sabres. Maybe swapping 1sts too.

      • WHS – Skinner and Carolina’s first which would probably be 8th overall for Sabres 1st overall and Myers? You smoking something real sticky icky on that one my friend.

    • Esq. I agree – I think Yak is a problem and I would rather take someone like Conacher who appears to be busting his ass every game. In actuality I think he was/is a jewel that was misused in Ottawa.

      I think there is a good chance that Bflo can fill some voids via free agency – if I were GM, I would court Jagr, Statsny, Ott and Moulson – then I would probably contact my uncle (B. Murray) and see what Ott would want for Ryan. Doesn’t cost you anything to look. But the Sabres need to get rid of Leino, add 2-3 veteran leaders who can mentor our youngsters and start playing our youngsters. While I like Scott, Konopka, D’Agostini and Ellis, giving them extra minutes is not really developing our team for the future. I see the need for a grinder and big guy – I would keep Konopka and D’Agostini as I think they bring more to the table.

      I like the way Stafford is finally playing – we’ve sat through a few lean years with him, but I think we are seeing him go back to playing his natural game. Ennis has clearly stepped up and has become even more involved in the play. I think Stewart will help Foglino and DeLauriers become better.

      Just a couple of upgrades and I think we’ll see a great improvement next years.

      • I don’t see the Sabres doing much in free agency and a signing here or there to get to the cap floor is about it. The goal next year is McDavid or Eichel. Between this years and next years drafts Murray starts to acquire his core players. With the possibility of 3 top picks in the next two years Murray isn’t going to do something stupid and improve the team. If Murray trades Myers to Edmonton I would think Eberle would be coming back as the two main components of a multiplayer exchange with maybe Stafford going along with Myers.

    • I am gonna have to disagree. With his arrival, Myers collected his highest point totals and that was what the watchers used to raise him to prominence, when in fact, he was never able, even then, to handle the defensive side of the game. He ascended in the media to a higher place than deserved. As the slippage started Buffalo’s management put on blinders to the problems with his defeneive side and instead of a bridge contract, gave his the salary he now recieves but doesn’t earn. It’s not the first time young defensemen were able to get handsome money for on the job training, and usually they are sent packing with the team being on the losing end of the trades.
      Sure, there is still room for improvement, but it is difficut to think he will ever be the player comensurate to his cap hit. The idea of him “coming around” seems naive.
      5.5 million until 2019 ?
      A team can go out and get a UFA like Andy macDonald and pay less and actually have a two pay three zone player with no wait for the on ice product to come together…

      • Bill I’d rather pay Myers $6 mill a year when he’s still improving rather then pay Phaneuf $7 mill a year where he has reached his peak and possibly on the downward side of his career. Pegula’s only paying Myers about a Million more than what he is worth so for a billionaire that’s nothing. And for a team nowhere close to the cap, that’s nothing.

        • You’re overvalueing Myers! I’d rather pay Phaneuf than Myers, so we’re both happy :-)

          • If I’m overvaluing Myers your definitely over valuing Phaneuf lol.

  2. Oilers or Flames should look at Ward and could be moved with some salary retention. He played in Red Deer and I think would agree to go back to Alberta. Skinner and E. Staal are not going anywhere.

  3. I have to imagine the Oilers are done trading for goalies assuming they keep both Scrivens and Fasth… they need team defense to protect them. No goalie can constantly stop all grade A opportunities.

  4. Jes. I totally agree with the logic of that “no, thanks” but not sure what part of Phaneuf’s game hi actuallt replaces. That re-sign reeks of “let’s sign him, or we won’t get much to let him go” also…

  5. You people know nothing about yakupov. Obviously. Just like people knew nothing about hemsky. Yakupov will be a star. If oilers use him to trade for Myers buffalo will win that deal. Lol. Blah blah blah all people do on these sites including the ones running them acting like they know a players skill and compete level. Sophomore slump and everyone starts talking like yakupov is terrible. The oilers are terrible and mostly because of drafting poorly with terrible scouting and an owner that told the GM I want yakupov instead of galenychuk or a dman more suited to the teams needs. Like RNH instead of landeskog. Yakupov’s value is gonna be diminished by these sites and media into hysteria in the same way it did with hemsky.

    • Myers will be a star in two years time my friend.

    • Hemsky’s value was diminished? Lol okie.

  6. Oh and hemsky has been one or the best if not the best player in Ottawa since his aquisition.

  7. I doubt the senators have any interest in spezza long term, if anything they will be looking to move his contract this summer. you do not want to commit long term on a soft selfish player like spezza with a long history of injury. he’s lost the room, never was captain material. i’d say he’s up for grabs for whatever the best offer is. if he’s part of the team come september it’s murray who should be fired.