NHL Morning Rumor Mill – March 26, 2014

Latest on Jarome Iginla, Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, Mike Cammalleri and Ales Hemsky. 

Will Ryan Miller re-sign with the Blues or join the Ducks?

Will Ryan Miller re-sign with the Blues or join the Ducks?

TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports the Boston Bruins and Jarome Iginla hope to work out a deal to keep him with the Bruins. They currently lack the tag room or the cap space to sign him now, but it could get done in the off-season…Pierre LeBrun reports the Ottawa Senators are pleased with trade deadline-acquisition Ales Hemsky. GM Bryan Murray would like to re-sign him and has reached out to Hemsky’s agent…LeBrun also reports the St. Louis Blues are very keen to re-sign recently-acquired goalie Ryan Miller. Colleague Bob McKenzie suggests Miller could be waiting to see what the Anaheim Ducks do in the off-season. McKenzie claims there was speculation the Ducks unsuccessfully attempted to acquire Miller from the Sabres. Miller’s wife is an actress so signing with a California-based team would be good for him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins currently have over $62.5 million invested in 17 players for next season. Under NHL tagging rules, their payroll for next season cannot exceed this season’s cap ceiling ($64.3 million). That also includes bonus-laden contracts. The Bruins also cannot put Marc Savard on LTIR until the start of next season. Right now we only have projections of what next season’s cap ceiling might be. It won’t be officially announced until sometime in June. Once the cap ceiling is known, the Bruins can move to sign Iginla or their other free agents…Re-signing Hemsky could also determine if the Senators re-sign Jason Spezza, who has a year remaining on his contract. Hemsky made $5 million this season but I doubt he gets that from the Sens. He’ll likely have to accept less if he wants to stay with Ottawa…If the Ducks have a strong playoff run I believe they’ll re-sign Jonas Hiller, leaving the Blues as the best option for Miller. 

LA PRESSE/ESPN.COM: Thomas Vanek is enjoying his time with the Montreal Canadiens, but he and his agent maintain his intention is to test this summer’s free agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some Montreal fans and pundits are hoping Vanek will fall in love with playing in Montreal and re-sign with the Habs. I’ll be very surprised if that happens. His off-season home is in Minnesota, where he met his wife and played his college hockey. Regardless of how things go for Vanek and the Habs over the rest of the season, I believe he’ll be signing with the Wild. 

CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis noted Flames winger Mike Cammalleri has been on an offensive tear since the trade deadline. Francis doubts Cammalleri, an unrestricted free agent this summer, will re-sign with the Flames.


  1. I’m not so sure the Wild will sign Thomas Vanek if they like what Matt Moulson brings to the table and right now I believe they are happy with his performance. The subtraction of Dany Heatley’s contract this off-season will make it easy to sign one, but not both.

    • As a Wild fan that follows the team closely, IMO the Wild don’t really have a choice to sign Moulson or not, he decides if he wants to sign since he’s a UFA at the end of this season.
      As far a Vanek goes, I’m not sure fans want him here, I think they would rather have Moulson.
      I’m also not sure the Wild don’t resign Heatley to a 1 or 2 year deal, depending on IF they make the playoffs and what kind of performance he has. He would of course have to take a significant paycut to sign.
      I could be totally wrong about all this and bash me if you think my comments deserve it.

      • Not a bash, but I think Heatley is done. His legs seem to have given out on him. If he was still able, willing, to play he would be busting his butt this season to earn a new contract. We see how well that is working.

  2. How long has it been since Savard played a game for the Bruins? Should he just retire or has anyone heard he could be back soon? Like sometime this season? Also same question with Pronger?

    • I am unsure on Savard, but with Pronger he is done, but he can’t retire. His contract was signed at over 35 years old. If Pronger retires, his full cap hit is effect for the Flyers.

      It really is ridiculous. The man still has concussion symptoms, and will never play again, and his peripheral vision is almost completely gone in the injured eye. His legacy and trip to the hall of fame is on hold due to the league not changing the rules concerning over 35 players. The rule was put into place for the stupid long front loaded contracts. To prevent players from retiring before their contract was complete, te league put in a rule that if a contract is signed over the age of 35, and the player retires before it is complete, the full cap hit is charged to the team.

      Pronger is legitimately injured. His career is legitimately over, and they have to play this stupid game of LTIR to keep the cap hit off the books until the end of Prongers contract. We in Philly were hoping the league might make exceptions for legit injuries and retirement due to them, but the league didn’t look at it.

      Savard I don’t get. He didn’t sign over the age of 35, and his cap hit would be void if he retired. Maybe some in Boston hope he can come back, or Savard himself thinks that.I would think Savard can retire without the Bruins having his cap hit.

    • Why retire when you can sit around on LTIR and collect a pay check. As far as I know, when a player is injured they still get paid, but if a player retires, they no longer get paid.

      • 100 % correct.

      • Pronger would still get paid as the retirement would be due to injury and insurance would kick in to cover the contract.

        Pronger is being great about the situation, if he retired at year end, the Flyers would be on the hook for $4.9 million/ year for the next 3 years.

        Savard would be covered by insurance too….I doubt that money is the issue for either player

  3. Guarantee Vanek signs in Minny. I also think Moulson will resign with them.

    • I don’t think they can afford both Vanek and Moulson. Heatley comes off the books but they have a lot of key RFAs to resign this summer and next, also their goalie situation is uncertain with Hardings health, Kuemper being young, and Backstrom looking old.

    • Its a given that Vanek wants to sign with Minny, but he also will want to be paid – IMO, I like the Moulson option – team guy, skilled, a good mentor for your youth and not as pricy. Hummmm a great fit for Bflo and he wanted to stay – doesn’t mean he won’t come back. But if Moulson does sign with the Wild – it kinda is the final burn on Vanek.

      Funny….I think MN kind of made an error not trading for Miller. Minny’s goaltending is still suspect. It’s interesting because I don’t think Ott has really done much in St. Lou and his role is somewhat diminished as compared to Bflo – so he could be a candidate to return to Bflo.

      • I think Ott is definitely a candidate to return to Buffalo. He is unnoticed in St. Louis. But in Buffalo he’s a big fish in a small pond.

        • Im not sure if you listen to Hitchcock he is “unnoticed” and playing with teammates like Miller and Morrow probably help with fitting in the team dynamic pretty well, not saying Ott shouldnt or wont resign with the Sanres just that I could see him being very comfortable in St. Louis as well, and it would not be a big surprise if he took a little less money to stay with a contender and players he has known for some time.

          • *Sabres

      • Steve I don’t think that Moulson wanted to stay in Buffalo. Players are basically instructed to say this by there agents IMO. Like 90% of the free agents who say this before they become UFA’s they end up leaving.

        • Jes, in all honesty, I was very surprised when I read he wanted to stay – especially in light of how he was treated when he first came over by Rolston. When Rolston sent him to the press box, my thought was if I were him I would want to get the hell out also. But, I believe the change in coaching and management turned him around. He has family in the area, but he said his wife and he loved the area and were well treated by the fans, aside from that….he loved playing for Nolan. Anyway, I’m not saying he will return, but the Sabres have as good a chance as anyone else.