NHL Morning Rumor Mill – Monday, July 22, 2013.

Updates on Jaromir Jagr, Mikhail Grabovski, Tim Thomas and Ron Hainsey.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti weighed in on the recent rumors claiming Jaromir Jagr may be close to signing with the New Jersey Devils. Despite recent reports out of the Czech Republic (where the rumors linking Jagr to the Devils have originated), Gulitti hasn’t been able to get confirmation from either Jagr’s agent or Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, though the latter never reveals his free agent intentions. While Gulitti believes Jagr still has the skills to help an NHL team, he cites the winger’s lack of speed as a detriment, especially for a Devils team which already signed Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I would think a younger, faster forward would be more beneficial (Grabovski, Brunner, Raymond) than Jagr for the Devils at this stage. We’ll hopefully find out soon what Lamoriello has in mind.

Where could Mikhail Grabovski sign?

Where could Mikhail Grabovski sign?

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes the most likely stops for former Leaf Mikhail Grabovski are “Washington, Winnipeg, Florida or Calgary”…Simmons also noted the seeming lack of interest in UFA goalie Tim Thomas…He also wondered if Ron Hainsey’s involvement in NHL CBA negotiations has anything to do with why he hasn’t been signed yet as an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I like Simmons’ choices for Grabovski, but the Capitals reportedly aren’t interested in what’s available on the UFA market and intend to look to within to fill their second line center role (Brooks Laich?). The Jets probably won’t pursue “Grabo” since their focus is currently upon the trio of key players (Zach Bogosian, Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little) slated for arbitration hearings. Panthers GM Dale Tallon recently claimed he’s not adding veteran depth via trades or free agency. That leaves the Flames, who definitely need depth at center, but does Grabovski want to sign with a rebuilding team?

 As for Thomas, I don’t see a market for him right now. Ditto Ilya Bryzgalov. I think the earliest both goalies could get signed is in September, when teams have time to evaluate their goalie tandems.

Following the lockout there was speculation Hainsey, who was heavily involved in CBA negotations for the NHLPA, might get “blackballed”. I believe the real reasons he hasn’t been signed is his offensive production has noticeably declined since his career-best 39-point season in 2008-09, plus he’s coming off a five-year, $22.5 million contract, so he has to lower expectations of what he could get on this summer’s market when the salary cap has declined. Hainsey is still a valuable defensive blueliner, and was linked recently to the Carolina Hurricanes, so I expect at some point this summer he’ll be signed by a club seeking experience blueline depth, though it’ll likely be on a short-term (1-2 years), less expensive deal, perhaps $2.5 million per.


  1. More teams that will be (or are) in on Grabovski, are:

    – Devils
    – Islanders
    – Sabres

    I’m surprised no team has yet picked up Raymond. He is skilled, young and fast!

    • I would not mind the Sabres giving him a shot. At least I know he would go all out those games against the Leafs. He’s a good young forward that could help this team grow. Can score some goals.
      I would guess if he really wants that 5 Mill per, that he will be living in Siberia next season.

  2. ha ha at Bryzgalov.

    • ha ha at the flyers for having to pay bryz $1.6 mill for the next 14 years.

      • Ha ha.. Flyers org have more money then Gods.

      • it certainly has not impacted their ability to spend money this year. the buyout at this point is yesterday’s news and now irrelevant. they have arguably had the nhls best offseason.

  3. I really hope “Grabo” doesn’t sign with the Flames, he would only be taking away a spot from a younger player. The Flames aren’t making the playoffs for a few years and he won’t help them get there any sooner. Jagr is a better fit on the Flames IMO.

    • Yup, it makes no sense for the Flames to sign Grabovsky to a one year deal because Flames are rebuilding and therefore do not have to play in 2013. Yay…

      • The Flames signing Grabo wouldn’t be bad. Give him 2yrs/8MM, let him play Line 1 minutes, then trade him at deadline to a team that needs a C. If Grabo has a good first half , they may be able to snag a good prospect and/or pick out of him.

    • So don’t sign Grabovski because he will take a younger guys spot, but sign Jagr? Just what would Jagr be doing then?

      • Jagr would be mentoring the young players. Everywhere he’s gone people have said how imipressed they are with his work ethic and determination. A player who was just bought out….probably not as much.

        The Flames still have to ice a team this year, thats true but even if “garbo” played his best year ever and carried to the team to 9th place, does that benefit the team? As a Flames fan, you have to accept that this team is going to stink it up but you have to take joy in the younger players developing. Grabo has developed, maybe not to his full potential, but he’s already “post apex”. If a contending team won’t take a flyer on him now, what makes you think they would at the deadline? The Flames need to make room before signing anyone new anyway, they have too many forwards (mostly wingers) and just signed Monahan so I don’t even know where garbo would fit in. Stajan is in a contract year so hopefully he plays great and is traded at the deadline, Backlund is developing into a 2nd/3rd line center and hopefully Monahan makes the team and can become the player most Flames fans hope he becomes. Maybe out of camp if they are short on centers, you sign “Grabo” to a 1 year deal but only if your hand is forced.

    • Jagr at this stage is heading towards the last year or couple years of his career… at this point he’s probably more focused on playing on a playoff contender than jumping on board a team looking to develop with youth… he wouldn’t have been a better fit on the Flames. To be honest, he’s not that good of a fit on the Devils either when looking at it from a players perspective. He should have focused on teams who boast to be better contenders next year… just IMO.

  4. Simmond looks like a moron and is a moron. Why does this guy still have a job? I mean, does he even read the news or not? To even mention the Panthers as a possibility for Grabovski after what Tallon repeatedly said goes to show his lack of attention.

    Grabovski is making a lot of money as a bought out player, so teams will not throw much money at him. I am not sure why the Caps would not have interest in him, though. I think that a team like Dallas will take a chance on him.

    Lyle, Tallon said that he won’t be active at this point in adding veteran depth, but i think that if the opportunity came to sign a guy like Boyes, or re-sign Mueller, on the cheap side, he’ll take it.

    Also, it is worth noting that Markstrom’s contract includes a two-way deal this season; meaning that if Markstrom doesn’t convince enough that the Panthers WILL sign/trade for a goalie and in this case Thomas may be considered.

  5. Caps don’t need him because they have Backstrom and I think they’re expecting Mathieu Perreault to step up. I said that it’s a buyer’s market for centers right now and Grabo is getting the crappy end of it.

    The Jets are a team that I agree could take him on. The Panthers should take him on but Tallon is being fussy. Calgary could also take him on. Grabovski’s probably upset because Toronto finally made the playoffs and became a winning team and he’s getting kicked off the squad and now teams that are bottom feeders are looking to sign him.

    The Devils aren’t going to sign him either… with Josefson, Henrique, Zajac, and Loktionov already jammed in at center, they don’t really have room for him in the middle.

    • Panthers are content at center with Shawn Matthias (who is better than Grabovski), Barkov, Goc and Drew Shore. Panthers don’t need centermen… Last year’s Alex Kovalev experiment may have soured Tallon’s taste for elder players but Jagr would still be a nice fit even if he is slow…That said I believe Panthers want to give the young guys like Vince Trocheck a chance to make the team and not waste roster spots on older plaeyrs.

    • The Caps aren’t interested in Grabo because we have an idiot GM (McPhee) who actually thinks Brooks Laich is our 2nd line center. Laich is a decent player but IS NOT 2nd line center OR wing material. He belongs on the 3rd line. As for Matty Perrault, I think he’s great but 2nd line center is probably a stretch for him. He’s playing great as the 3rd line center. Leave him there.

  6. Alot of these guys will end up having to sign a one year deal on the cheap to try and find a home and hope to get a better option next season when the cap goes up.

  7. Micki looks like a moron and is a moron. Why does this guy still have a job? I mean, does he even read the news or not? To even mention the Panthers as a possibility for Boyes or Mueller after what Tallon repeatedly said goes to show his lack of attention.

    • Mueller played well last season for Panthers and wanted a big raise, that is the main reason he was not resigned. The Huberdeau, Shore, Mueller line was the most consistent line all year. Tallon has said he has not shut the door on Mueller.

      • Florida did not tender offers to center Peter Mueller nor fourth-line winger Jack Skille. Although general manager Dale Tallon said the team would like to retain Mueller at the right price, Skille will not return.

        “He has arbitration rights,” Tallon said of Mueller, who made $1.725 million last year and scored eight goals and 17 points in 43 games.

        “We’re still negotiating with him and would like to keep him. It’s just what the right price is as far as our budget is concerned. We’re fearful if he went to arbitration, we might not be able to afford it.”


  8. Hainsey will def land a job, may just take a bit to get there. Oilers, Islanders, Hurricanes, Botls, and Flames are at least a few teams who could benefit from his depth.

  9. If the Jets take care of their own RFA’s and still feel that Scheifle isnt ready for top 6 minutes, then Grabo could be an option. However it would be a short term option as in a 1 year contract due to Scheifle’s development. If Grabo wants top 6 minutes and is willing to sign a 1 year deal work around 3 million then the Jets should snag him. If he’s lookig more long term then maybe Calgary or Washington should sign him. Im a Jets fan and would like to see the 3 RFA’s re-signed before arbitration, that process is ugly

    • NHL network should televise it…lol Id like to see GMs belittling their players accomplishments could be good tv

  10. would not mind seeing grabo in oiler silks. gives options for trades down the road

    • No way the Oilers can fit him in under the cap.

  11. If Grabovski insists on 5 mil per then he is going to be waiting a long time. I doubt he will be able to get more than a two year deal as well. If he is serious about playing in the NHL he is going to have to have a major re-think, either that or find an agent who knows what he’s doing.

  12. Too bad the Devils let Hedberg go. They would really be appealing to the over 40 female audience !

  13. Grabovski should sign a 1 yr deal with a team where he will get number 1 line minutes . If he puts up good numbers he’ll be more sought after next year.

  14. Hey TopRight/ Shticky
    I originally said Gunnar would get over $3M and Shticky kept badgering me saying no way in hell so I dropped him to $2.5M

    Two signing down 3 more to go:
    My RFA’s salary signing predictions
    Kadri $4M
    Franson $3.2M
    Bernier $3M (Actual $2.9M)
    Gunnar $2.5M (Actual $3.15M)
    Fraser $1.8M
    Total $14.5M

    TopRightCorner says:
    July 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm
    I think you have way overpriced the RFA’s and need to shave off about 3-3.5 mil
    I even have doubts that Bernier gets 3 until he also proves himself

    • The Leafs currently have $6.57M to re-sign 3 more players. Based on that, my RFA’s salary signing predictions:

      Kadri $4M
      Franson $2.85M
      Fraser $1.42M
      Total $8.27M
      Cap Total = -$1.7M

      I got those numbers, based on what Gunnarsson got in this contract re-signing, then divided that from what he had in his last contract. I then based that into what everyone had. Based on that, they’ll need to trade someone to get under the cap. They now HAVE to trade Liles for a 2nd rounder.

      • I see Franson getting more then Gunnarsson around 3.5, Fraser will get around 1.1 and Kadri bridge contract around 2.8-3.3. imo

        • Who would have thunk it we are in as about as good a cap position as the Flyers 😉

          • Me!!!! I could see where this was going two months ago with your boy Nonis

          • Blah blah blah, we are good still moves to be made…like I said even a blind squirrel…

          • I believe you are referring to yourself with the Grabo buyout. Blind Squirrel/Dumb luck. You got one thing right…

          • Well lets go thru about the past year shall we JVR, Bernier, Grabo buyout to pay Clarkson resign Bozak instead of Weiss Ribero Roy….ya pure dumb luck I have no idea what Im talking about youre right…lol

    • Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while…lol anyway nope I dont like that signing (for a few different reasons besides th cap hit) but I think something must be in the works for more room Kuli Liles or Dion are on their way out.

      • He has no choice. He has to have wiggle room of at least $1.5M for injuries so right now he’s got about $5M to sign Kadri, Franson and Fraser. Can’t be done without moving Dion, Kuli or Lyles out…

        • Nonis is throwing around cash like a drunken sailor in a whore house, it’s like the salary cap doesn’t exist. Bozak, Clarkson were both over paid and giving Bozak a NMC was icing on the cake. It was irresponsible to sign these two to this kind of money and term without getting the RFA’s under contract or at the very least figuring out what they would cost and add it to your cap situation. Nonis didn’t seem to do either.

        • Yes he has some choice send Brenan and Smith down gives another mill with 18 singed and almost 8 mill for Fraser Kadri Franson Faser 1.25 one way deal Kadri 3.25-3.5 Franson 3.25 and your there or if you send Holzer and Brenan down you got another couple 100k to make it work, I still think there is another deal to be made but they wont be over the cap.

          • But please feel free to rant some more….

          • This makes zero sense

        • 1.5 for wiggle room? Maybe a mill or a bit more but not 1.5 there are enough marlies making under 1.2 that if you needed to fill a spot you could do it easy enough if more was needed you put someone on IR they will be fine and under the cap…

          • You have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to cap. You throw numbers around in the air and really don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Math is not your strong suit so I’d stay away from talking about anything to do with cap room.

          • I admit math is not my strongest suit but my numbers are right if you take what is left according to cap geek 6.57 and send Brennan down with Holzer you have nearly 8 mill left (7.957) and 18 Roster spots 21 is pretty common
            Kadri 3.25 + Fraser 1.25 + Franson 3.25 = 7.75 if you needed a couple hundred K more if these numbers go up you could still send Trevor Smith down which gives you another 550k with 20 spots on the roster till you dump Liles or Kuli you are under the cap either way…gahh

          • again feel free to rant some more…

          • Why would you send guys down who barely make more then the league minimum to open up roster spots that you have to eventually fill? The minimum is 20 players but no teams operate with less then 23 so this makes no sense.

          • If you couldnt make a deal until after training camp starts to get rid of some salary you may need to demote a couple guys to get under the cap then once you make a deal you could recall them you cant be over the cap at the start of training camp till then you can sign whoever try and get what you can for Liles, but once camp starts maybe Liles gets thrown on waivers or Kuli gets dealt, but right now there is not much going on so it may be a little harder to make a deal while GMs are trying to sign rfas and with arbitration etc but when teams start camp and can assess what they need it might be easier to make a deal. This is why you might send some guys down to get under the cap, you are not sending them down forever