NHL Morning Rumor Mill – October 4, 2013.

Latest on Joe Thornton, Marc-Andre Fleury, the Sedins,Dion Phaneuf, Ryan Miller and more.

Will Joe Thornton re-sign with the Sharks?

Will Joe Thornton re-sign with the Sharks?

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun wouldn’t be surprised if the Penguins add a veteran number three goalie as insurance,believing GM Ray Shero will ride out his current tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Jeff Zatkoff and re-evaluate them after 20-25 games…The sticking point in Henrik Lundqvist’s contract talks with the NY Rangers isn’t money but term, as the Blueshirts may be uncomfortable investing in the 31-year-old netminder for eight years…The Anaheim Ducks may be in the market for a young defenseman and would be willing to move a forward in return. LeBrun suggests Pittsburgh, Toronto and Philadelphia (teams with blueline depth) as possible trade targets…Joe Thornton’s agent will soon reach out to the San Jose Sharks to talk contract, but there’s no timetable to getting a deal done. Thornton, 34, is eligible for UFA status next summer. As with Lundqvist, LeBrun believes term, not dollars, will be the main issue in negotiations…The Sedin twins have yet to sign contract extensions but the Canucks have made re-signing them a priority. The two sides could negotiate during the season.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: John Thornton, agent and brother of Joe Thornton, sees the Sharks captain staying in San Jose. While acknowledging Joe would receive big offers on the open market, John doesn’t see him going for that.

SPORTING NEWS: Sean Gentille suggests the Pittsburgh Penguins could make Marc-Andre Fleury a compliance buyout candidate next June if he struggles this season. Fleury has one season remaining on his current contract at a cap hit of $5.75 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the time being, the Penguins will stick with the Fleury-Zatkoff tandem…If Lundqvist has another strong performance this season, the Rangers will have little choice but to re-sign him to the maximum eight-year deal…The Leafs would probably love to move John-Michael Liles to the Ducks, but he wouldn’t fit that description of “young defenseman” the Ducks apparently seek…Fearless prediction: Thornton signs a three-year deal with the Sharks for just under $7 million per season…Another peerless prediction: the Canucks will re-sign the Sedins during this season, probably for the same terms and salary. Discuss!

TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox believes the Maple Leafs have more leverage in their negotiations with Dion Phaneuf than they had with Phil Kessel, suggesting Cody Franson could replace Phaneuf if he departs via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s as may be, but the Leafs also happily overpaid Tyler Bozak and David Clarkson. If they really want Phaneuf to stay, it wouldn’t surprise me if they inked him to a five-year deal at $7 million per. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson responded to a reader’s e-mail about Ryan Miller or Jonas Hiller replacing Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk if he departs next summer via free agency. Matheson believes Miller could be a good replacement though he’s no longer the goalie he was three years ago. He also noted the Ducks were trying to move Hiller this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers would have better luck landing Hiller via free agency than Miller, who I believe wants to play closer to Los Angeles, where his actress-wife works. If Dubnyk play well this season I believe the Oilers will re-sign him. Better the devil you know…


  1. Im not so sure Id be willing to replace Phaneuef with Franson….7mill is getting a little steep I m fine 6.5 for 5 anymore then that is a bit of an over payment an Im definitely not one of the Dion haters. Franson has looked very good tho so far.

    Sedins 7-7.5 each max term 2 for 1 sale Gillis could say they took a haircut to stay really its a haircut to keep playing on the same team. A haircut none the less.

    Some very good young center prospects in Anaheim Gardiner back to the Ducks for Holland or Karlsson perhaps

    • Edit….lol didnt realize how old the sis ehh twins have gotten 6 years around 7 mill each.

      • ‘Sis–ehh twins…’ I see what you did there :) They’re going to be a package deal til retirement so a slight hometown discount is a probability..ie 5 yrs/$33 M

    • KEEP GARDINER, I hit harder than he does and I’m 60+

    • I would keep onto Gardiner, he is a gd puck moving dman, Holland isn’t going to be a number 1 centerman,

      • Make or break year for Holland. If he doesn’t cut it now, he will be a career AHL’er.
        Rakell shot next year.

      • Even if Holland ended up being a 2 it would be good outside Kadri and Gauthier (who is a long way off and not really top 2 line potential) we have no one for who could even remotely be considered a strong center prospect. Which is not great looking down the road when your current number 1 is Bozak 2 is Kadri and your 3rd is a UFA at the end of the year.

      • Too many of the same thing in Reilly Gardner Franson Ranger and Percy (Percy just kind of) no centers. If you want some kind of return you have to give something up. Gunnarson or Liles. Or AHLers are not going to put you in any kind of a position to acquire or address the teams needs, and honestly Im not sure I see Dion going anywhere any time soon. If Bolland or Bozak gets hurt and Kadri chokes this year whos the spare center? McClemment is a great 3 or 4 but it will be a long year if he is playing top 6 mins. Need a center with some offensive ability or potential Colborne wasnt it.

        • A Gardiner deal is better with another team than the Ducks …. the Leafs need to get back a true nose for the net player who can skate and has size …

          as stated in previous posts Id play Gardiner up on the wing on the Leaf roster

          The only way the Leafs can move Liles is from what Ive been saying all along and that is by sweetening the pot by making it a 2 player deal by adding in a second a 1A minor league prospect to help move out the money and player !

          Reilly should be untouchable unless you are getting back a proven bonifide NHL star player for your top 6 in a return deal.

          Shticky is forgetting about Frederick Gauthier ….this is blue chip maybe unrealized star for his size and age …..up and coming !

          I d take Palmieri or Winnik in the deal !

          • No Im not Ive seen the kid play live a couple times he is at best a 2 probably a 3 Size yes …200 ft game yes… offence not so much and not much foot speed. Thanks for coming out.

  2. The problem with the 3 teams listed for depth d is they can’t take on any salary and need to dump some which I don’t see the ducks wanting or able to take on any on either.

  3. Interesting teams for the ducks to go after. I am sure they would like Reilly, Franson or Gardiner. I could see us giving up Rakell, Holland or Bonino in the deal. I think we would like to have given up one of them and Hiller plus a draft pick for a top flight d-men. Just cannot see a team with those players who need a goalie though.

    It would be a real shame for the ducks to give up some good players to get a player they had back in Gardiner. I think it would be funny if we made two seperate deals.. One for Gardiner and another for Justin Schultz.

  4. Leafs did not over pay for Bozak, Plus we made the decision Bozak over Grabowski which was a gd one. Grabowski didn’t fit our system.If Bozak doesn’t resign maybe kessel doesn’t either. maybe 500k per year for Clarkson, or in term by 2 years. I would trade Gunnarson but Silverberg or Palmieri would have to be in the discussion

    • Not to be rude but you are a typical leafs fan. You over value your assets. Gonnarson wouldnt net you Silverberg or Palmieri. It would net you Belesky and like a 5th.

      • That is who i would want, if not i am happy with keeping Gunnarson, maybe we could Throw in Biggs and get a second in return, So my proposal would be
        Gunnarson and Tyler Biggs for Palmieri/Silverberg and a second rounder

        • No thank you the Leafs are fine on the wing and Im sure they wouldnt be dealing their number 2 D and a guy who is 20 years old 6’3 210 lbs and very physical (Randy loves these type guys) and probably a decent bet to be on the third line at some point for another winger thats not exactly a Randy type.

          • Biggs doesn’t impress me at all, they say he is strong on the puck and i watched him play three games he needs alot of deveopment, he will never be a top 6, He was a Burke player, American born, Also it pissed me off when the Leafs traded up to get him and gave up a second, Looks like a pretty good pick at 39 for anahiem,

      • Not to be rude but you are a typical anti-leafs fan. You under value our assets. While I agree that Gunnar would not get you Silfverberg/Palmeiri/Etem etc. the player you list, Belesky (4th liner) and a 5th rd pick is an insult. Gunnar is a top 2 defenseman on our team and even if he is miscast in that role he is still a top 4 NHL defenseman. Somewhere in the middle lies the deal between what you believe WE overvalue and what I beleive YOU undervalue. Just saying.

        • Not to mention Biggs hasnt even played a year of pro hockey yet and only 1 year of the OHL and a couple years of Us college hockey which dosent really suit his games development so lets not consider him a bust or a throw in yet. Jeesh

          • @ Michael. Did you just say Gunnarson and Biggs for Silfverberg, Palmieri, AND a 2nd rounder? This isn’t NHL 14 man. And for Anaheim to be trading all of that, they’d expect a top-pairing d-man, not Gunnarsson (who is expendable in Toronto). And I agree with Shticky, Biggs is NOT a throw in. You’ve only seen him 3 times.

        • Gunnarson when at the top of his game and HEALTHY usually plays mistake free hockey and is very consistant and can be count on …hes just lacking body weight …I wish I could cross his DNA with Fraser …lol

        • Ahh- I’m with Todd on this one. Gunner is good, but Top 4 may be a bit premature.

          • Id move Gardiner before I move Gunnarson for 2 reasons …

            1) My return on Gardiner will help me more

            2) We have multiple D men like Gardiner who rush the puck

            3) Gardiner is not very good on the defensive side of the puck

            4) Gunnarson is more reliable on the D side of the puck


    • Maybe a little they did not by much maybe 250k-500k or so but considering the options and what they cost it was a better choice imo. Bozak at around 4 mill for 5 years is better than Weiss or Ribero or Grabovski at around 5 mill or over. Its not an overpayment in the same league as Clarkson now thats an over payment of 2 or 3 years of salary.

      • There both an overpayment.

        • Read what I said

    • The Leafs did over pay for Bozak who on ANY other team is a 2 – 3 center man his stats ar inflated because he plays with TOP line players …he wasnt overpaid by a lot but hes a $3.75 player

      • Gunner would be the only current d on the leafs roster I’d move. They need more of a physical stay at home guy and franson, Gardiner, Reilly, have to much upside to move currently. Leafs could only take on a prospect right now, which I’d think they’d want something along the lines of karlsonn.

  5. Please let them not resign him to that rate. I like Phaenuf, he’s quite good when not brain cramping, but really he seems a perfect candidate for a trade deadline deal, sending him westward for some cap relief or offensive talent coming back. If he wants more than 5.5 (which I don’t blame him) I really hope he gets moved.

  6. As Lyle suggests, if the Sedins were to sign for the same price and term as their current contract, I would consider that a great deal.

    • It would be I agree but I think they will get a bit of a raise tho 900 k a mill maybe? Gillis is in kind of a hard spot not to give them something. Imagine of they walked Van is really really hurting if that happened. On the open market Im positive they would get more than 7 mill each to play together somewhere, separated probably closer to 8 and no doubt someone would find away to make room for them.

      • We can all only hope it is 7mil a year. Hope it is 4 years max.

        • Hmm which teams out there have $14 million in cash and cap space to sign those two? I would say not many. They are not going anywhere. I agree they will likely get the same deal and stay where they are comfortable.

          • Not sayin there are lots of team with 14 mill in cap space right now or that this woul happen but right now if the cap was to stay the same the jets for example have 2 mill in room this year but 16 mill in cap space next year if the cap stays the same if the cap goes up by 8 mill as most think it gives them 24 mill in cap space with 15 guys signed the twins would make 17 guys signed and 10 mill in space to find6 guys which could be done depending on prospects etc pretty easily, this is just an example of a team that wouldnt even need to pull off a trade to fit them in and Im sure there are a few teams that wouldnt think twice to trade to make space.

  7. Joe Thornton wants to stay in SJ, and I think Wilson wants to keep him. Lyle, I think you are right on the term of 3 years, but I think he signs for closer to $6M than $7. The team is clearly transitioning to a new core, and Thornton is a family man now (wife +2kids). He will trade an extra $M for a full no trade clause to keep stability for his family.

    • Thorton is a great asset to the Sharks organization I am not sure Boyle is meant to be there anymore and they can use the cap money from Marleau to start a rebuild …move Marleau at the deadline …if you can get a substantial asset for Jumbo Joe at some point Id look at that also I would also look at moving Pavelski too !

      You should be able to get quality assets in return and build around Couture …they need to strengthen the blue line as well !!

      • I personally think they should have shipped him out already. I like Joe. but they keep coming up short in the playoffs again and again. I would have taken advantage of Burke while he was in Toronto and made him pay. I would have moved Marleau too and built around Couture and Pavelski. Now all that being said…I agree he will likely get a 3year extension between 6.5-7 million. Wilson doesn’t want to give up on these guys.

  8. The Ducks should contact the Sabres. They have so many Dmen, they can’t keep them all on the big club! e.g. McNabb