NHL Morning Rumor Mill – October 3, 2013.

The latest on Henrik Lundqvist’s contract talks, the Penguins short-term goaltending plans, an update on Dion Phaneuf’s and Dennis Seidenberg’s contract talks, and Ilya Bryzgalov could be headed to the ECHL.

Henrik Lundqvist done talking about his contract status.

Henrik Lundqvist done talking about his contract status.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is done partaking in his contract negotiations with the Rangers, preferring to leave it with his agents. He’s also done talking about his contract status, preferring to keep his focus on this season. It’s believed the two sides are separated by term and dollars, with Lundqvist (who’ll turn 32 in March) believed seeking an eight-year deal for “at least” $8.5 million per season.  Rangers captain Ryan Callahan is also eligible for UFA status next summer and his contract negotiations aren’t  believed far along in the process. Brooks speculates Callahan could receive offers of seven years worth between $6-$7 million per season on the open market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fortunately, Rangers fans, this is early October, and July 1 (the start of the UFA period) is nine months away.  Plenty of time to get both players re-signed. The salary cap is also expected to rise (perhaps back to $70 million) next season, which will also help the Rangers re-sign the duo. That would give the Blueshirts around $4o million in cap space, more than enough for Lundqvist and Callahan. I’ll be shocked if those two aren’t re-signed.

Problem is, they currently only have nine players under contract for next season, and spending nearly $15 million on two players will eat up a huge chunk of that cap space. They’ll also have to re-sign Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto, Brian Boyle and Derick Brassard.

POSTGAZETTE.COM: Penguins GM Ray Shero said he has no immediate plans to find a replacement for Tomas Vokoun, who’s out three-six months recovering from blood clot surgery. Shero intends to evaluate his current tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Jeff Zatkoff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s early-October, so the Penguins can afford to give Fleury an opportunity to regain his form and rebuild his confidence. The first month of the season is usually not as tough as the latter part of the schedule, so even if Fleury is shaky, the Penguins can probably rely on their offensive firepower for a while to bail him out. However, as the season progresses and the games grow more meaningful, Shero could be forced to go shopping for goaltending help if Fleury continues to struggle and Zatkoff proves an inadequate backup.

TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis said he expects he and Dion Phaneuf intend to discuss a long-term contract as the season progresses. Phaneuf is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. “Dion and I had a meeting in camp as to how the season would go,” Nonis said. “He’s not putting pressure on (for a rapid resolution), he’s comfortable any time. We’re not going to wait all year, but when we do, it will be done quietly.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nonis and Phaneuf will do it quietly. The media, however, won’t keep quiet about it. The longer Phaneuf goes without re-signing this season and the longer the two sides remain quiet on the matter, the greater the media hype over Phaneuf’s future in Toronto.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Former NHL goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is reportedly close to signing with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the East Coast Hockey League.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The “Bryzgalov in Vegas” jokes practically write themselves. That aside, if Bryzgalov does play in the ECHL, it’s obviously as a stepping stone toward getting back into the NHL. There could be a couple of NHL teams lacking depth in goal who might want to get a look at Bryzgalov’s performance before deciding to pitch him a contract.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli will make re-signing defenseman Dennis Seidenberg ” a pretty high priority”. Seidenberg is eligible for UFA status next summer.


  1. Lyle is bang on with the rangers scenario !
    They have close to 16 – 17 mixed UFA and RFas next year ti sign and the top tier of 6 players are all ready at 50% of the salary…they should have bought out Richards ( maybe they still will next year )

    Clemmonson and Garon on waivers may be more enticing than Bryzgalov also hearing Theodore is having trouble with the team he has signed with in Europe all ready !

    as a cross contamination topic …..Who in the world could be traded for Fleury or replace him in Pitt …I just dont see a deal still in the belief it could be Ottawa or Anahiem

    maybe even Colorado with Roy there …..WOW!! ….now thats an interesting topic of conversation Fleury brought in by Roy like he was back in the day ….WOW!!
    That would be unreal !!
    and win the cup !!

    • The Avs will not be winning the cup this year sorry bc

      • Just a fantasy situation…… I was being speculative !!

    • Maybe either Halak or Elliott can be brought in as back up / replacement (though Elliott’s contract is prolly less agreeable).

      Not sure if that works out salary cap wise.

  2. I don’t understand why Ottawa (Anderson was the best goalie in the league before his injury last year) or Anaheim (two goalies who could qualify as starters based upon last year’s performance) would want to trade a good goalie for Fleury. Who wants to pay $5M a year to a basket case goalie? The Avalanche are the first team that BC has mentioned that makes any sense, but that’s only because they have a basket case goalie behind their bench!! Although after last night’s game, I don’t think Roy will be asking Sakic to try to convince Sherman to make a call to Shero about a Seymon V for MAF trade!

    • These were the only deals ( i.e. TEAMS ) that I could see making sense for both teams !!!

      • And again neither makes any sense … Anderson is a better goalie then Fleury and cheaper with Lehner sitting behind him who will be absolutely phenomenal. Fleury has done nothing since the cup run a few years ago and the offensively stacked Penguins are the main go to for that.

        The Ducks? Hiller is a great goalie, Fasth is a great goalie, and they still have Gibson in the minors. All of these deals benefit one team and that is the Penguins, unless they are giving up MORE with Fleury.

        • A destination that makes sense … wait until half way through the season and swap Price & Fluery when they are both struggling like nobodies business.

          • Is this really Sydney Crosby ….who thinks Price is the best Goalie in the NHL ???

        • Heres a thought if at the trade deadline Bernier has secured the no. 1 job in Toronto, Reimer is an RFA on a team with a number of high priced players to get under contract and providing he plays decent thru the regular season what about him going to the Pens if Fleury or Vokun is struggling…very affordable small cap hit at that point and probabalyr more affordable than Fasth or Hiller in the future. For that mater would the Avs maybe have some interest.

  3. I think that if the Pens get into goaltending trouble you might see a push for tim thomas off of the Florida Panthers….if he gets his game going. Florida has a young goalie ready to try and be a number one…and thomas certainly is not a longterm solution for them.

  4. Am I the only one that see’s a problem with Lundqvist signing for “at least” 8.5 for 8 years? He’ll be 40/41 years old after the end of that contract! Is he worth more than 8.5 now? Sure. Is he worth 8.5 when he’s 40? Probably not. Let’s not forget about the penalties teams face if their players retire early. Obviously Lundqvist wants to cash in now, but it will hurt the NYR later. That’s plenty of time for anything to happen.

    I say to be reasonable, sign him for 5 years. And let’s average his salary out. Age 33 (8.5mil), age 34 (8mil), age 36 (6.5mil), age 37 (5mil), age 38 (4mil) = 32/5 = 6.4million/year for 5 years. Will he sign for that? Absolutely not. There lies the problem…

    His play could decrease with age, he could injure himself and never be the same, he could want to retire and penalize the team, a young goalie or just a better goalie could come in and nobody could want his contract in a trade…

    • Sorry I messed up the ages. It should read:

      Age 33 (8.5mil), age 34 (8mil), age 35 (6.5mil), age 36 (5mil), age 37 (4mil) = 32/5 = 6.4million/year for 5 years.

      • Also, add in the fact that NYR buys into UFA years, he’ll take a shorter contract, and NYR would probably ask for a small discount because Lundqvist wants to win. I guess overall $7.25 per year for 5 years is fair to both party’s. That is $250k more than Pekka Rinne makes, and Rinne is 2 years younger.