NHL Morning Rumor Mill – November 21, 2013.

The latest on the Blues, Predators, Rangers, Senators, Islanders and Blue Jackets.

Are the Rangers getting much interest in Michael Del Zotto?

Are the Rangers getting much interest in Michael Del Zotto?

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance looked at several clubs and their respective trade needs. If the Nashville Predators decide to shop for a goalie, he lists Anaheim’s Jonas Hiller and Washington’s Michal Neuvirth as options. The Ottawa Senators are among several clubs believed interested in Michael Del Zotto, but for a budget club like the Senators, the Rangers would have to take back some salary to move Del Zotto’s $2.55 million salary to Ottawa. He still considers St. Louis the best destination for Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, picking to Jaroslav Halak’s .883 save percentage in seven starts in November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators are awaiting the results of Pekka Rinne’s MRI at the end of this month before deciding if they’ll shop for a goalie, but the recent solid performance of call-up Marek Mazanec could give them pause. If the Preds do go shopping for a goalie I doubt the Capitals move Neuvirth, preferring to keep him as a backup for Braden Holtby. The Blues will reportedly stick with Halak, but if his performance falters as the season progresses, they could seek an upgrade, though given their limited cap space, they don’t have much room to add Miller’s $6.25 million cap hit, even if the Sabres agreed to pick up half.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers aren’t actively shopping defenseman Michael Del Zotto but they are getting inquiries about the blueliner. Brooks claims they’ve yet to receive offers to pique their interest. A healthy scratch in the last three games, Del Zotto returns to the Rangers lineup tonight against Dallas.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray’s priority is landing a top-four defenseman. The club also needs a top-six forward but Garrioch reports the Sens hope Milan Michalek will eventually break out of his slump. He cites the Rangers Michael Del Zotto, the Penguins Matt Niskanen and the Stars Vernon Fiddler as trade options.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers will either have to accept some salary back or agree to pick up part of Del Zotto’s contract to make that move work for the budget-conscious Sens. I believe the Penguins will retain Niskanen for the remainder of this season owing to his good job filling in for the oft-injured Kris Letang earlier this season.  Fiddler reportedly approached the Stars management about a trade if he didn’t seen an increase in playing time but there’s no word if they intend to act on that request.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen won’t make any knee-jerk reactions over his club’s poor start, but said his club’s lack of leadership has him considering a trade for a veteran. He noted, however, the trade market is currently stagnant and veteran leadership comes at a premium.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been some speculation they might bring back Vinny Prospal but in a recent interview Kekalainen never mentioned the former Blue Jacket.  

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports NY Islanders GM Garth Snow has had his “usual trade discussions” with his fellow NHL GMs as he attempts to address his depleted defense corps but there aren’t reasonable prices for usable defensemen. Having dealt away their first round pick in 2014 to the Sabres in the Thomas Vanek deal, Snow lacks a big trade chip to shop for a defenseman.


  1. If Ottawa cannot afford Michael Del Zotto, how the hell they will be able to resign Ryan?

    • Hes walking anyway…wouldnt matter

      • music to my ears.

        • Thought it might be

      • ok there. if you paid any attention you’d know that michalek is in the final year of his contract and won’t be re-signed plus combined with the cap going up they will have to dish out a big raise if they even want to be cap floor compliant. then again what would a leaf fan know about anything else then the leafs, or even sane decision making. how’s that crackhead mayor you guys elected working out for you?

        • Correction, Flyers fan.. I know that Michalek, and Philips are in final years of their contract does not mean you will sign Ryan.. and who are you going to get instead of Michalek?

          Ryan may want to go home to Philly, where he belongs.

          • Na, he’ll stay in Ottawa

    • the cap goes up next year. Ryan will not be a problem.

      • Correct
        They gave a lot of the future up for him so money won’t be a problem

        • Senators could not retain Alfredson and curretnly have 12million in cap space this year.. So technically cap is not a problem this year either..

          Paying money to your own players is the problem. Ownership is cheap or do not have funds i sthe problem.

          If you disagree, please provide reasonable argument why….

          • Yup Melnyk seems pretty cheep.

          • Jes

            It’s not that Melnyk is cheap, Ottawa has been either losing money or breaking even for the past 10 years.

    • Ottawa is f’ed, because despite their cap space, they have their internal cap space. For next season, they need to re-sign: Phillips, Gryba, Michalek, Lehner and Conacher.

      • Im not saying due to money or anything of the sort I know the Sens will have lots of cap room thats besides the point. I think he likes playing in a hockey market and probably does like somethings about Ottawa but Philly is a hockey market also that will probably put up more money and its closer to home which will be the biggest reason for Ryan to leave. Get over yourselves and the mayor remarks (flo) are ridiculious and mean very little to someone who lives closer to Ottawa than Toronto. Why would a guy who lives in Kingston vote for the mayor of Toronto?

        • It is not because where we live, it is because we are Leafs fans, and the first thing that comes to their minds when talking about the Mayor, the automatically tie the two together. Heck, I don’t even live in the Province of Ontario, yet I get those Mayor remarks. I tell them that, they never fully understand…I guess it is because they are all idiots. And what they again never understand, is that even if we all lived in Toronto, the Leafs have no immediate ties with the Mayor. Anyway, we need to address more problems within our roster, than to listen what others have to say. We still need a 1C, and with Holland, these players are expendable:

          – Kadri
          – Bozak
          – Gardiner
          – Liles

          If we can pry out a 1C from a team using some/most of these assets. I still believe we’ll land Stastny. It’ll unlikely be what I’m proposing in my crappy arm-chair GM’ing, but what about:

          To Toronto: Stastny + 2014 1st rounder
          To Colorado: Kadri + Bozak + Gardiner

  2. Vanek trade looks worse and worse to Garth…

    • Lol yep…

    • Wonder if the Islanders faithful actually like the guy? Anyone know? I always wondered what is approval rating was like.

      • Speaking as one, most Islanders fans think Snow is a just a smoke-screen for our penny-pinching owner, Charles Wang. Wang is the problem. He personally negotiated the DP deal, he’s the reason their payroll is last in the league, he’s the reason that caveman with the bad haircut is behind our bench, and he’s the reason that they’ll probably miss the playoffs this year after looking like they were going to finally take the next step after last season.

        Sorry, but some days it’s hard to bleed orange and blue.

        • Ya I have no clue what that coach is doing there either. Moulson should have never been traded IMO. All they really would’ve had to do is add in a prospect or two to get Vanek.

        • I feel your pain Avery. No fan understands futility more than Leaf fans. Desperate for any sign of improving and stability.

  3. Re: Del Zotto
    Getting mixed signals here.
    Teams interested / Teams looking for a top 4 D-man but
    Rangers may have to take back some on his 2.55 million salary ?
    If you think he is a top 4 D-man but don’t think ( or can’t ) pay 2.55 million salary,
    why in the hell do you think he is a top 4 D-man, 2.55 mil is nothing these days.
    I hate these big long term contracts because when it comes time to add a piece,
    you have to stick your hand behind the cushions of your couch to find quarters and dimes
    to add a piece.

  4. I truly believe Ottawa will trade Anderson as the Goalie market is HOT and in the best interest of the Sens right now for best return they may also may move Michalek as he is a UFA next year, that will free up
    $9 million in cap this year and it goes up next year also !

    Islanders have Strome as a potential trade chip ….
    however Snow should have been fired for trading Moulson ….( STUPID – Dumb – FIRED ) !!!!

    Del Zotto –

    is a bottom 4- 5 defender….doesn’t have the size or offensive output to be top 2 or 3, he is a complimentary player in the 4 – 5 spot on a quality team that is deep in defense, good penalty kill and 2nd unit power play !

    • which Toronto player would you liken MDZ to?

      • I would say Gunnarson at best…doesnt play as Physical as Fraser or Phaneuf , doesnt have the shot or size like Franson …very few players skate like Gardiner or have the hickey iQ and hands of Reilly …so Gunnarson at this point.

        Not saying much but if anything very consistant

        • Gunnarson at best? Nutty they are not even the same style of D man, Del Zotto has more points plays less minutes is 7 years younger….how bout he kinda resembles a Gardiner (closer than Gunnarson anyway) I agree tho not yet a top line guy more like a 3-4 pp type d man.

          • He is not like Gardiner …

            I wasn’t comparing point production but rather style of play …yes Del Zotto is more offensive than Gunner is ..almost most of the league is ..LOL
            but style of play is more geared towards Gunner …IMO

  5. Ottawa cheap….going nowhere. Worse run team in league. Worse owner….well, except philly’s maybe.

    • And Islanders …..

    • Brah… Philly missed playoff twice in like 20 something years..
      get yoru facts together.

      • LOL

      • John Tavares is a waste in long Island !!!

        Not sure what spell Garth Snow has on him …but what a waste of talent !!

        • They’re moving to a new arena soon. I suspect payroll will increase once that happens

        • There are worse places to be: Florida, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Buffalo

          • He’d actually be utilized correctly in Edmonton, Florida and Buffalo

    • Flyers owner Ed Snider throws huge amount of money on his team. Money is never an object and players are treated awesome…

      • Agreed…Cant say players dont want to go to Philly, sometimes a little to hands on but who can blame him for that its his team and for the most part he leaves it alone. Snider is a good owner.

        • Philly has always had a good team on paper and on the ice and have not been tight with money to make it work …they still do ….they are just underachieving at this point but there is enough character in that dressing room to make a very good run especially with the talent and 3/4 of the season to go and they have received very good goal tending on most knights even in a loss ….

          IMO ….Homer let Peter Laviolette have to much say in the direction of the team after the loss in the playoffs and they traded away 2 elite players that they should have kept …they got to young to quick again and they need some time to figure that out !
          Other than that there talent should prevail in the end …time will tell but it should get better for them through the season !!

      • Ya Philly sure does treat their players well. Carter and Richards sure showed us that.

        • So if I give you 5 million/year for the next 10 years and send you to sunny California that makes me the worst guy in the world? Sign me up for some of that mistreatment please.

        • Carter and Richards are paid big time money and set for life.

          No one likes to be traded but it is part of business. It just proves that Philly is a nice town to play hockey and players did not want to leave.

          • I wouldn’t want to play for Philly, their plan is like throwing darts in the dark. You never know when the owner/GM will wake up and say k BIG MOVE TIME! It may make things exciting, but if they had a bit more patience maybe they wouldn’t have gone from being a top team to a crappy team the past couple years. If I was a player, I wouldn’t want to sign in Philly seeing how easy it is for the owner to change his mind on you in no time!

      • thats why he gave the Los Angeles Flyers a stanley cup team

    • yeah worst run team…. ok, that’s why we’ve go superior drafting and manage to contend most year while spending millions less. much better then teams spending to the cap but failing to compete…

      • Hmm flo must be one of the five or ten thousand faithful Sens fan that show up to the Sens games most nights….or some nights anyway

        • Ottawa doesn’t have the benefit of filling their arena with corporate seats like some cities. Their number one employer can neither buy tickets or even receive them from suppliers. The fan’s that show up pay for them and when the teams not performing up to expectations the fan’s vote with their feet. A novel idea in some quarters I guess. Reading some of the comments by Leaf fan’s in particular really makes me shake my head. If there are any fan’s in hockey that should show a little humility from time to time its you lot.

          • Hmm not sure Leaf fans heard alot of humility from Sens fans when the Leafs struggle…or any other time for that matter, mayb it will change when they become the Quebec City Senators….lol I kid I kid

  6. Garth should pickup Liles for draft picks, even future year draft picks. Leafs cannot afford to take back salary, but they might eat some…

    • Would you guys really be asking for draft picks in return for Liles? Like you guys been trying to get rid of this guy for how long now? Why not just trade him for a go nowhere prospect like New Jersey did with sending Tallinder to Buffalo for Boychuck?

  7. I am surprised some team has not taken Liles it must be the contract because he would be an upgrade for most teams at the 5-6 defensemen spot. Heck he would be an upgrade over many of the current Toronto defenders but his cap hit is to large. I think the Leafs should look to trade Bozak when he comes back to free up cap space and I think we have better options then him on the first or second line anyways. Gardiner is terrible this year and needs to get sent down to the Marlies. Garniner keeps getting huge ice time with multiple give aways and they are treating him like the Oilers young guns with no accountability just more ice time.

    • If Bozak is so bad (don’t get me wrong, I think he’s 3rd liner material) who would take him with his current contract?

      Nobody. Unless some team needs to reach the floor next year, we’re stuck with him.

      • I’m pretty sure several teams would be interested in Bozak if Nonis made him available. Maybe not as a first line center but a second line and some secondary scoring. I’m sure a few GM’s would be tricked by his stats thinking he is a good player. Little do they know my 4 year old son’s numbers would look good playing with Kessel the last few years.

    • Ya most Leafs fans on here think Gardiner’s the next big thing, but I haven’t seen anything from him that’d point people in that direction.

  8. With Reilly fitting in and being the odd man out because of Gardiner, it is not inconceivable that Leafs want all GM’s to get a good look at Gardiner just to see what they might pitch for him