NHL Morning Rumor Mill – May 19, 2014

Latest on Eric Staal, James Neal, Marian Gaborik, Dion Phaneuf, Brad Marchand and more.

Will new Hurricanes management shop Eric Staal?

Will new Hurricanes management shop Eric Staal?

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman doesn’t expect the Penguins to tear down its roster but wouldn’t be surprised if they test James Neal’s trade value this summer…He also cites a league executive believing new Hurricanes GM Ron Francis is keeping things close to the vest regarding possible moves this summer. As for Eric Staal’s future with the Hurricanes, Francis said that’ll depend on their budget. Friedman cautions about “going crazy” on the Staal trade rumors, noting Francis liked seeing Staal on left wing as it makes it easier to double-shift him around the lineup.,.Friedman doubts Kings’ winger Marian Gaborik will hit this summer’s free agent market…He also thinks one of the reasons the Maple Leafs re-signed Dion Phaneuf (apart from the fact he plays big minutes) is that it could improve his trade value at some point, as it would be easier to move a player with term on his contract, even if it means picking up part of his salary. He expects they’re testing his value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe the Penguins will entertain trading Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Neal is likely their best trade chip right now, though teams might try to pry promising Olli Maatta away from them…I think trading Staal or his brother would be hasty on Francis’ part, nor do I see him shopping Jeff Skinner…Gaborik will have to accept a significant pay cut to re-sign with the Kings, who have limited cap space for next season…Sure, the Leafs can test Phaneuf’s trade value, but I doubt they’ll find any decent offers right now. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty ponders winger Brad Marchand’s future with the Bruins, wondering if his recent lack of playoff production and undisciplined play could make him a player the Bruins don’t want around anymore. He’s got three years remaining on his contract at $4.5 million per season. Haggerty believes Marchand could be the player to move if management decides to shake up the core. They’ll also need to free up cap space to re-sign RFAs Reilly Smith and Torey Krug. Haggerty also reports Bruins backup and pending UFA Chad Johnson must decide if he’ll re-sign or test the free agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite Marchand’s reputation as a chippy player he could attract interest from clubs in need of second-line scoring. Marchand also has a no-trade clause, which could hamper efforts to move him. 

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports new Flyers GM Ron Hextall doesn’t expect to make major roster changes this summer. Still, he didn’t rule out acquiring help for Claude Giroux’s line.  “If there’s something out there, we’d look at it, but I think it’s more left wing in general”, Hextall told Carchidi, who notes there’s plenty of left wingers available via free agency (among them: Mike Cammalleri, Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Jussi Jokinen, Mason Raymond, Milan Michalek) while Winnipeg’s Evander Kane could be available via trade.  The Flyers might have to find a replacement for Kimmo Timonen if he decides to retire. Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen could be available via free agency but the Flyers will have difficulty fitting him under their cap. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m sure Hextall won’t rule out making a trade for the right player at the right price, but he claims he’ll try to build up the Flyers through the draft and within their system. If he wants to take on a first-line left wing, however, he’ll have to free up cap space to do so. 


  1. Good Morning,

    I believe what has been reported, that the leafs will try to compliment Phaneuf with players rather then trade him. Ideally should he be making 7 mil no!, but it is what it is and as of right now leafs need him to play big minutes.

    also was wondering if Moulson could be this years Raymond?? I understand Moulson has a better track record the Raymond had in his previous years, but wonder if he holds out for to long could we see him on a 1 year deal around 2 mil? If so would be very intrigue, from a leafs pov, if Raymond ask for something around 3, they could sign Moulson instead, which I think would round out our top 6 nicely.

  2. Im not sure Raymond comes back at any price, he was great the first half the year but from the midpoint on reverted to the player that Van let go, perimeter guy who disapears when things get tight. I also think with the way contracts will go over the next couple years (starting with the UFA class this summer) Phaneufs contract isnt going to look too bad to teams that maybe interested.

  3. With multiple 30 goal season behind him, a 1 year 2 million dollar contract is not reality. Stop thinking that players will take less to play with the leafs(leafs fan since birth here). Moulson is getting at least 4-5 million per season wherever he goes, not to mention a 4 year term at minimum. Raymond WILL sign for close to 3 million per year. If he asks for 2.5-2.75, the leafs will definitely sign him back.

    • I bet you are under on what Raymond gets 3-3.5 at least. Of course the Leafs would consider him at 2.5 but realistically so wil other teams. Open market if he decides to test it Raymond is a 3 mill player easy not sure that he is that important to the Leafs. With the lineup changes that management is talking about I imagine Raymond will be one of the guys leaving.

  4. Re: Gaborik
    Not so sure Kings can resign him. No doubt he has been near to, if not the Kings best player the past 3 months. I am wondering if he will price himself out because this may be his last chance for a big extended payday which would be risky wen you look at his streaky history with NYR and Columbus. If he asks for 5 years at 6 million a year, I think LAK says bye, bye.

    • The Kings have plenty of money to sign Gaborik, according to capgeek they could spend $6.5 mill on him and still have plenty left over to sign their RFA’s and replace guys like Greene and Mitchell on D. I highly doubt Gaborik seeks a deal that pays 1-2 mill more on a team that isn’t a cup contender like the Kings, he has already come out and said he loves playing with Kopi and feels is one of the best in the league.The real issue is not cap but term. Personally I think he will get a 2-3 year deal at around $6.5 per.

      • They are starting to suggest the the cap will not rise to 71 million as earlier predicted. They are saying the new number will be 67-69 million. That would leave the Kings between 9-11 million to sign / resign 4-5 players. I’m not sure burning 6.5 on Gaborik would be so wise. I always liked the guy, thought he would have been a great deadline deal to bring back to NY. But the guy scores in bunches and equally disappears in bunches. Not sure I’d commit to 2 or 3 years at that kind of money.

  5. Gaborik is a tough one to figure out, on one hand the Kings are going to br tight to the cap after next year, and could really regret Gaborik if like you mentioned he reverts to the way he played for sometime in NY or Columbus, on the other with the way he has played the past while you know there are a few GMs out there chomping at the bit to give the guy another huge contract. I think negotiating a deal with him could be very tough for the Kings.

  6. I think it’s very possible Gaborik could re-sign for a reasonable contract with the Kings. Gaborik has played for four teams in his NHL career and he didn’t work out so well with two of the teams. Gaborik needs to be careful here. He captured lightning in a bottle in LA. If he goes and signs a two or three year deal with some other club and doesn’t do as well, that could be the end of his NHL career. He’s 32 now. He doesn’t have a year or two to blow on a club where he’s not a fit.

    I also think Lombardi will stick with his plan of keeping salaries reasonable. If Gaborik won’t re-sign for reasonable money then I think he may look at Moulson or give a bigger role to Toffoli and Pearson.

    • Exactly and one thing going against Gaborik is that there is going to be some pretty good left hand shots in UFA such as Camy, Moulson etc. It will be interesting to see who signs first as that player just may set the standard. No doubt Gaborik has been great but just how much time and money a team may want to bet on the future is still in question. There are several contracts out there where management is now saying “What Have We Done”.

      • Gaborik has really had issues with 3 teams. In Minnesota he battled injury, NY and Columbus he battled consistency. He is a streaky guy either way. I think the Kings will not be able to afford his services come summer time. He will more than likely command $5-6 per and 2-4 years. Minnesota loses on Vanek, he may be option 2, Florida, Tampa, NYI’s, and some other teams may be able to outbid LA.

        • Florida could make sense and able to throw stupid money towards Gaborik, this is what I am getting at tough to say which way Gaborik goes. Sure the Kings have some space to sign him but….

  7. Boston’s lack of offense showed in the playoffs and moving another goal scorer this off season is not the best move unless they get someone better. Moulson would be a upgrade over Marchand but not much cap space for that.

  8. One of the first things that the new Pens GM will do is ask Malkin for a list of teams that he would waive his NMC for.