NHL Morning Rumor Mill – October 22, 2013.

Latest on Andrej Meszaros, Nail Yakupov, Ryan Miller, John-Michael Liles, Jordin Tootoo and Dmitry Kulikov. 

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reported defenseman Andrej Meszaros is in Flyers coach Craig Berube’s doghouse. The Flyers tried to trade Meszaros this summer, and Freidman wonders if he’s more value to them next season with his expiring contract…Two reasons the Oilers didn’t trade for a goalie: one, they didn’t believe what was available could resolve their goalie issues long terms. The Blues Brian Elliott and the Ducks Jonas Hiller, for example, are eligible for UFA status next summer. The other is Devan Dubnyk played better last week. The Oilers were believed to have spoken with the Ducks, Blues and Capitals. There were rumors the Oilers had interest in Jake Allen or Thomas Greiss, but Allen will be a key part of the Blues future while the Greiss rumors appeared “incorrect”…Friedman believes it’s too early for the Oilers to give up on Nail Yakupov, and noted some NHL GMs “really do have Russophobia”…The Flyers, Rangers and possibly the Devils could be exploring the trade market…Despite Ryan Miller’s limited no-trade clause, Friedman believes he’d accept a trade to anywhere he believes is a better situation…

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve said many times, Meszaros’ cap hit ($4 million) and injury-history means he’ll finish this season as a Flyer…Given the lack of viable options for goaltenders in the trade market, the Oilers have little choice but to stick with Dubnyk…I don’t believe the Oilers want to give up on Yakupov, but he could be the asking price if they decide they need a long-term goaltending upgrade…The Flyers, Rangers and Devils will discover what the Oilers recently found: there isn’t much of a trade market right now…If Miller gets a shot at moving to a playoff contender, regardless of where it is this season, I think he’ll take it. I don’t see him going to Edmonton because, quite frankly, they’re in little better shape than the Sabres right now. 

Wings shopping Jordin Tootoo.

Wings shopping Jordin Tootoo.

TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports the Detroit Red Wings are eager to free up some cap space and could make winger Jordin Tootoo ($1.9 million) available. ..The Toronto Maple Leafs are willing to absorb part of defenseman John-Michael Liles’ contract ($3.875 million per season) to encourage a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings reportedly talked to the Nashville Predators about dealing Tootoo back to Nashville but nothing came of it. Perhaps they revisit those talks.  Tootoo’s salary was believed difficult to move during preseason, but with the NHL season now three weeks old some teams in need of more muscle at forward might be willing to take him on…I’ve said before the only way the Leafs move Liles’ contract is to absorb a chunk of it. They might have to eat half his cap hit to make him attractive to rival clubs.

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox speculated the Maple Leafs could have an eye on Florida Panthers defenseman Dmitri Kulikov, though he’s due to become a restricted free agent next summer plus he’s a left-handed shot on a blueline in need of a right-handed shot.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson doubts the Panthers part with Kulikov…In response to a reader’s question about the availability of Buffalo’s Tyler Myers, he acknowledged the Sabres would probably trade the big blueliner but they aren’t actively shopping him. He also considers Myers big contract a major sticking point.


  1. Cant see Kulikov really being a fit, nothing to do with skill but dont the Leafs already have enough of point producing type d-men? Phaneuf Franson Gardiner Reilly Brennan Percy and Liles on the Marlies, why waste assets on another? They should be looking for a bigger more physical type d-man that plays d. No more fancy types. Someone who can clear in front of the net and block shots, besides Fraser who at best is a bottom pairing guy.

    • I was trying to come up with names that might actually be options. Its nice to say that’s what they need but who can they actually look at?

      • If they cant find one shouldnt be wasting assets on things they have multiples of. Wait until one is possibly available would make more sense is my thinking.

        • Oh forsure. No sense trying to throw another part in there when its not the right one. I’m just curiousas to who would be that right fit who could be available.

          • Trade deadline…maybe Orpik? Not sure if the Pens would be willing to give him up going in to the playoffs but they might not have the room for him next year and not want to see him walk for nothing…who knows what that would cost tho. At any rate later in the year maybe one becomes available, no sense throwing away assets at the first d that comes available.

    • Blocking shots, clearing the front of the net = not in possession of the puck. PMD = more puck possession*

      *in theory.

      • Could be…in theory, could also be another potential turn over machine tough to say I guess.

  2. Rangers have Russophobia? They have no Russians….

    Toronto has no need for Kulikov, but i do believe that he is trade bait.

    • @ Micki look up phobia.
      @ Steve that trade is way too one sided in edmontons favor. Buffalo is looking to cash in on miller. An overpaid winger, 13th forward and underachieving goaltender is hardly cashing in.

    • Rangers are mentioned in a different situation (looking to trade) than the russophobia comment…

  3. Spec, I agree with you on Edmonton not quite being a playoff team right now, but I think they are a lot closer than Buffalo. Edmonton could do a deal of Dubnyk, Hemsky and Arcobello for Miller, Weber and Kaleta and that would improve their team by giving them an upgrade at goal, a stay at home d-man and an “enforcer” type of player. The only reason I don’t see it happening is because I think Miller will hold out for something better – let’s say St. Louis or even Anahiem.

    • I don’t see this happening because Hemsky is not that good. The Sabres already have a Hemsky in Leino. Over paid and always hurt.

      • Miller is not going to Edmonton regardless. To say Edmonton is “closer” to the playoffs than Buffalo, is no argument for Miller to move. Either one will be very lucky to make it this year (unlikely) and he is going to be a UFA. If Miller goes any team that he has to waive his NTC it will be a team that is very likely to be going to the playoffs, not a maybe hopefully they are closer to making it than Buffalo team. It dosent matter that they might only take another year or 2 compared to the Sabres taking 3 or 4 possibly.

    • Steve any trade involving Miller will bring in a highly touted prospect, you can put your money on that. If not then it will include a number of draft choices including a 1st rounder. If a trade will be happening with Oilers IMO it will include Yakupov. Vanek on the other hand will bring in much more.

      • Rental players do not get you high draft picks or highly touted prospects. Just look at what Calgary got last year for Iginla and Bouwmeester. Also no GM in their right mind would trade a 20 year old former 1st over all draft pick for a 33 year old declining UFA starting goalie who would most likely walk at the end of the season.

        • I agree with most of this accept the part about “rental players dont get you high picks or high draft picks” the package from Boston was Bartowski along with a first round pick and another prospect which is 2 of the things you say rentals dont get Flames took less because Iggy shafted them. Clowe got 2 seconds and a third. Erat got Forseberg, Pommenville got Hacket a first rd pick a second round pick and a prospect besides that…Rental player generally get pretty good returns. Including first round picks and good prospects.

        • your pretty much talking out of your ass on that one KevJam. Rentals have high ceilings. Look what Gaustad got. If a guy who scores 1 goal a year can get a first rounder. Think what a goalie who gets a regular 30 wins a year and a forward that averages 35+ goals a year will go for much more.

          • Okay, when was a rental player ever traded for a first over all pick? The pick that Calgary got for Iggy, yes was a first rounder pick, but it was a high pick. Teams like the Penguins and Bruins who are already are established contending teams will part with there picks to get them what they need to get them that missing piece mainly because they are high picks. The Oilers who are not an established team yet will need more from there picks and high end potential talent then a 33 year old declining UFA goalie. Gaustad is a bad example as he was not a rental player. He was traded in 2012 and is still with the Preds.

          • Thats not what you said…at anyrate I go back to my Erat for Forseberg reference Forsberg picked 11 overall, tones of upside but not exactly living up to expectations on a team that is pretty set for top 6 gets traded for a piece that at the time a gm (boy I bet MacPhee would take that back) thought he needed in Erat. Miller is more proven, and Miller is a higher end player compared to. Erat and Erat got the 11 overall pick from a draft year that was maybe a little better than Yaks.(again this is not a deal Id do but..) now you could say but that was a bad deal and “ya but…” it all you want, thats not the point bad deals happen for rental type players all the time because potential in players is not judged the same as proven results in a more veteran player. Yaks was Edmontons overall nu,ber 1 pick that year looking back on it how many people would rather have Murray? First over all is rather objective argument.

  4. oh would be sweet if Jordin Tootoo want to the Penguins! Ray! make room for him! get rid of Glass and take tootoo!

  5. If Prust’s injury was any longer-term, I could see the Habs taking a run at Tootoo (provided they could fit him under the cap). They could use another gritty forward with Prust & Parros both out.

  6. I’m not surprised GM’s have Russianphobia with Yakupov and his value is lower as a result. He has plenty of future potential to be a superstar or a bust plus he could always get paid more in the KHL if he decides to leave his NHL team. Edmonton does need to trade a couple of their young players to address their weaknesses and they better do it soon before the value of these players decrease. Do to cap issues Toronto will have to hold tight and keep Liles in the minors. Trading Liles and pick up half his salary for next 3 seasons will hurt the leafs they are better till they have more cap space and call him up then pay him to play on another team. He is a pretty good d-man for 2 million so why do any team a favors.

  7. OK, just spitballing here. How about this. Reimer, kadri, Gardiner and Biggs (plus admittedly) to Florida for barkov, kulikov and markstrom.
    Toronto gets a big center, an offensive dman to replace the one they lose and a backup (with a decent ceiling ). Florida gets a second line center, a better offensive dman and a starter. Biggs if they prospect they would want back. Will have to throw more around but boy oh boy they need a number 1 center.

    Here’s the thing, on a side note. Florida can’t just add players through free agency just to drop them a year or two later. They will distance themselves from other future free agents.

    • Matty you must be a Leafs fan like myself. I would do this trade in a second as it would free up about $900K in cap space and I’m sure Barkov will soon be the 1st line center we have lack since Sundin retired. I don’t think think the Panthers would do this deal because Barkov is worth way more. I just don’t see Toronto making any trades due to their cap space and trading options. I do think if the opportunity presents itself for a star 1st line center we need to over pay for him.

      • No thank you only piece that you mention that would be of interest and for sure worth thinking about is Barkov and he is going nowhere for those pieces offered. Also why do people keep throwing away Biggs? Give him sometime could be decent.

        • Got to give up something good to get something good. Biggs may end up being a good third liner can’t see much more then that.. Maybehe becomes a kulimen type player

          • Wont know if we never see him play his pro career is all of 9 games he is 6’3 220 and can play a mean game Ive seen him live with the Generals a couple times he could be good, wingers with that size can skate guys like that dont grow on trees. Fine maybe he turns in to a third liner (good one) but what if you throw him in to a deal the way most do as a freebie and he ends up being Lucic like? Power wingers are slower to develop the almost the same as centers and D. You dont know what your giving away until you let them develop a bit. Deals like this where you just throw in players just because, are the types of things people laugh at JFJ about and Rask for Raycroft type deals.

      • You are probably right. I like that barkov an awful lot. I just think that because they have huberdeau they may be willing to move barkov at some point. I knew it was wishful thinking when I wrote it

        • Why on earth would Tallon want to trade barkov and markstrom…

  8. Edmonton needs a goalie and Montreal has one in Price who can use a chane of scenery. What about this- yak/rnh and dubnyk for price and a 2nd. Win-win- no?

    • Eek Im not sure Id do that if Im the Habs…good return and everything but , Duby and Budaj? IMO not a great tandem.

  9. Nail Yakupov a former first overall pick in the second year of his entry level in exchange for Miller? Who happens to be a UFA a the end of the season? If Yakupov is on his way to Buffalo, Miller will be a part of the bigger package for Yak.

    • Hardly any bias here eh Oiler man? You would not get more than Miller for Yaks. Potential or not. Dosent matter Miller wont be going to Edmonton.

    • Yakupov is struggling mightily. He won’t get a much bigger package then Miller and a young midlevel defenseman like McNabb or Ruhwedel. Niederreiter got what Clutterbuck in return for him. So ya potential means nothing right now. Look at Grigorenko we though he was gonna be huge but right now he won’t get much in return.

  10. There is no chance either team would take a straight up Yakupov for Miller deal. Fans alone wouldn’t allow it. It doesn’t make any sense either. Too much risk both ways. Yakupov could become a Daigle and be a bust being too much risk for the Sabres and Miller could walk at seasons end making too much risk for EDM. Could a deal be made around these guys however…