NHL Morning Rumor Mill (Part One ) – March 1, 2014

Latest on Ryan Kesler,  Martin Brodeur, Ryan Callahan, Chris Phillips, Christian Ehrhoff and more.

Are the Bruins interested in Chris Phillips.

Are the Bruins interested in Chris Phillips.

BOSTON HERALD: Steve Conroy reports a source claiming the Bruins contacted the Ottawa Senators about defenseman Chris Phillips, who’s in contract talks with the Senators but could be moved if the talks fall through. Conroy also suggests Philadelphia’s Andrej Meszaros, Buffalo’s Henrik Tallinder and Carolina’s Ron Hainsey as options if Phillips isn’t available. The Bruins aren’t considered having much interest in NY Islanders blueliner Andrew MacDonald because of the Islanders’ high asking price.

ESPN.COM: Joe MacDonald also reports the Bruins are making inquiries about Senators defenseman Chris Phillips.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports a source claiming there’s been no trade discussions between the Bruins and Senators about Phillips.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some confusion out of Boston regarding the Bruins and Phillips. There’s no doubt Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is shopping for a defenseman and I expect him to make a move by the deadline. It remains to be seen if it’s Phillips or someone else.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Wayne Scanlan suggests the Senators blowout loss to Detroit earlier this week may have turned them into sellers. Scanlan doesn’t see the sense in parting with assets for a rental player at this point. He believes the loss to the Wings reveals the Senators as a young team not quite ready to contend. Pending UFAs Chris Phillips, Milan Michalek and Joe Corvo could be moved if management opts to sell by the deadline.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Phillips is engaging in contract talks with Senators management but has nothing new to report. Garrioch also reports a possible trade target was taken off the table when Chris Stewart was shipped to Buffalo in last night’s Ryan Miller deal. He claims the Senators still have interest in Stewart.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators are now five points out of a wild card berth. I suspect their performance in their remaining games leading up to the trade deadline will determine management’s course of action. In the wake of last night’s blockbuster deal between the Sabres and Blues there was some talk of the Sabres “flipping” Stewart to the Senators. Time will tell if that’s the case.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti wonders if this afternoon’s game between the New Jersey Devils and NY Islanders could mark the last time Martin Brodeur will be in the Devils’ net. Brodeur claims he hasn’t spoken with GM Lou Lamoriello about his future or asked for a trade.

MLIVE.COM; Ansar Khan believes Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler would be a good fit with the Red Wings but fears the asking price would be too high. He believes the Canucks “would want a good, young player who could help them right away in addition to a top prospect and high pick.” Khan claims Red Wings GM Ken Holland would prefer to land a defenseman, suggesting Kesler’s teammate Alexander Edler would be a better fit.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Wings make a move to bolster their defense I doubt they’ll land Edler as the Canucks will also want a decent return for him. I don’t see the Wings parting with any of their promising young players. They’ll likely stick with what they’ve got unless they can land a rental which only costs a draft pick.

NEW YORK POST: Having re-signed Dan Girardi, Larry Brooks claims the focus of Rangers management now shifts to getting Ryan Callahan re-signed. If unable to re-sign him the Rangers could trade Callahan. Brooks suggests shipping him to Tampa Bay for Lightning star Martin St. Louis provided the Rangers add a “sweetener” to the deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll have to be one helluva sweetener to convince Steve Yzerman to part with St. Louis. Despite the reportedly strained relationship between Yzerman and St. Louis, the Lightning are among the Eastern Conference’s top teams, are poised to clinch a playoff berth for the first time in three years and will soon welcome back Steven Stamkos from a broken leg. Unless St. Louis is forcing the issue, Yzerman has no reason to trade him now.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports the Sabres have requested defenseman Christian Ehrhoff present a list of eight teams to which he won’t accept a trade.  Vogl notes a potential stumbling block in moving Ehrhoff is the salary cap recapture plan. “Should Ehrhoff retire before his deal expires in 2020-21 (when he’d be 38), that “advantage” will be “recaptured” and added to the Sabres’ salary cap. The penalty, spread over the remaining years of his deal, would range from $3 million to the full $10 million, depending on his retirement date”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To see what those penalties could be, check out CapGeek.com’s handy NHL Cap Benefit Recapture Calculator. Oh, the fun you’ll have…

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey doesn’t expect any significant moves by the Canadiens before the trade deadline. “Bergevin isn’t going to part with any of the team’s young assets and there’s no market for the players he would be willing to deal”, writes Hickey.


  1. Ottawa is a joke. Murray won’t go after Moulson or Vanek because “asking price is too high”. Well, someone will pay that price and make their team better. Ottawa is cheap and I am sorry but the Bingo trial was a bust. The baby Sen’s are just that..babies.
    I will go out on a limb and say IF Kesler is traded, it will be to an american team and Van will get fleeced. They gave Hodgson away in my opinion. Van needs to stick it to anyone who won’t pay a good price for Kesler.

    • DChamp, you should have taken the time to read Wayne Scanlon’s excellent evaluation of the Senator’s current situation before posting. Paying the expected big asking prices for either of those two rental players is not going to help the Senator’s. There are plenty of teams in the league that routinely spend to the cap and are no closer to success for it. Drafting and developing players continues to be the best option for Ottawa.

      • My favorite is “I will go out on a limb and say he will get traded to an American team…”. Really a limb you say? Considering he plays a Canadian team that leaves 5 other teams in a league of 30, so 5 out of 29 or an 86% chance it will be an American team. Plus he is American or does your theory of all the good ol Canadians play for American teams count for Americans too? Is it just anyone who dosent have a different sounding name should play in Canada? Did he get adopted? More brilliant observation on the talent drain happening up here in the great white north.

        • Yeah I’m a firm believer that all the best talent goes to American based NHL teams. My proof is the fact that Canadian NHL teams have won NOTHING in 21 years. Why you think that is? Do you see a cup coming to a Canadian team any time soon? To be real, the state of Canadian teams this year is terrible. Probably worse in the last 15 years. SO, I don’t see a possible cup in Canada in the next 5-7 years minimal. Thats upwards of 30 years. Until you prove that Canadian teams manage to get their fair share of cup worthy talent….do not knock my theories. Crosby, Toews, Nash, Weber, Doughty, Carter, Duchene, Girouex, Stamkos, Sharp, Perry, Getzlaf, Petro, Thornton, Mackinnon, Benn, Bergeron, Staal’s X3, Tavares…the list goes on. NOW!!! Name one Canadian on a Canadian NHL team that you would rather have on your team then ANY of these players listed above…..with the exception on Subban. So, where is all the talent? North or south? Please do not mention “one trick pony Hall” or “can’t curl 25 pounds Hopkins”. Edmonton really picked the wrong years to tank. Would have been nice to get Mackinnon or Drouin but thats the way it works.

          • Kessler is american.

          • How many years were the Pens Avs Hawks Blues Blue jacket Canes Crappy hockey teams that finnished in the bottom 3 teams in the league? How many years all that talent been in the league compared to the Oilers where is the Avs cup that includes Duchene and Mc Kinnon? Nash ever won a cup How bout Taveres? How many of those guys chose where they wanted to go compared to where they were drafted? Again remind me when was the last time the Blues BlueJackets Panthers Stars Flyers won a cup? How many of those teams have more cups than say the Canadiens or Leafs.? Your ignorant no one can change your “theories” Its a 30 team league with 6 Canadian franchises and a salary cap, chances of a canadian team winning a cup compated to an American team is pretty small its called math.
            Again if you look at Canadian teams with Canadian players they are all in the top half of the league (meaning teams from Canada generally have more Canadians playing for them than the smerican teams do) the teams like the Hawks Pens Ducks Blues Lightning actually have less Canadians on their team than any Canadian teams do your argument makes no sense.

          • Your argument is actually Canadian teams never get the best talent because they don’t frequently suck … (with the obvious exception of Edmonton’s recent streak). Also the ’96 Ave’s were a first year team MOVED from Quebec when they won the cup and they were loaded with Canadian talent.

            We may not have the absolute “all-stars” of the NHL universe in Canadian talent but we still host Jason Spezza, P.K. Subban, Carey Price, Jonathan Bernier, Dion Phaneuf, Joffery Lupul, Evander Kane, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan-Nugent Hopkins, Justin Schultz, Andrew Ladd, & Roberto Luongo.

            We also have some other great young Canadian talents like Schiefele, Hovart, Shinarauk, Reilly, Percy, Nurse to name a few.

            If you applied the reverse order we also have some of the top American talents.

          • While those teams sucked it was other American teams winning every year with great Canadian boys on them. I can bet you any money the Av’s will win a cup before any of the Canadian teams (7 by the way) will. Why would you say the odds of a Canadian team winning a cup is slim? Canadian teams make up 1/4 of the NHL. So 1/4 of the time you would think they would make a run and win it. Thats one cup every 4 years, they should have won 5 since their last if you are going by %’s. And I’m not saying Nash won a cup or tavares. I’m saying the BEST canadian players play south. It don’t matter Canadian teams have a lot of Canadians on them. I’d rather the Canadian first line players then 3rd and 4th liners. I really don’t expect a cup in Canada again in 10-15 years. Thats sad my friend. Thats a lifetime for some.

          • How about Luongo or Price?

            Canadian-based teams are 23.3% of the NHL. 25% of the Canadian olympic team either plays on a Canadian-based NHL team or was traded away or let go by one (St. Louis, Bouwmeester). Sounds about right in terms of probability. And since the majority of the NHL is Canadian talent and the majority of teams are in the USA, that the majority of Canadian talent would play on US based teams seems most likely just by random chance. There is no conspiracy to keep the True North down by taking all the best Canadian players. That’s just math.

            I think you hit the nail on the head with Edmonton – it has been mostly poor drafting and management that has lead to the current state of Canadian teams. This is because it has been a longstanding conspiracy for US teams to take all the best Canadian general managers, coaches, and scouts. Bettman orchestrated it, along with Brian Burke, and the NSA to in order draft the highest level of Canadian, American, and European talent, have these players marry American women and give birth to dual-citizenship babies that will grow up to play for the USA hockey in the Olympics so we can finally beat Canada regularly in international play by the predetermined Putin-hosted 2030 Olympics in Vladivostok.

            How else to explain Brian Burke except as a Jason Bourne-like secret agent programmed to destroy Canadian teams from within. The Sedins were really the ultimate result of a decades-long Burke-led CIA program to clone Swedish players. Why do you think so many “Swedish” twins play hockey? Why else would the NHL expand into Florida, twice, if there weren’t some greater, vile purpose such as starving Canada of hockey management talent while hiding behind the disguise of profits and growing the game? Why would Team Canada’s coach and now-former GM work for American teams? How exactly did we entice Scotty Bowman to Pittsburgh and then Detroit to coach? Why did Kevin Lowe return to Edmonton from New York after his playing days and how do you know he hasn’t been replaced with a replicant? Why did the Rangers once trade for Quebec’s coach? Why does Detroit make so many really good late round draft picks? And is there or is there not a conspiracy for Buffalo to get all the 2015 first round picks in trades just so they can get McDavid in the draft? This conspiracy goes so deep it reaches the top!

            Dammit. I’ll never get the time I wasted on this post back.

          • How do you come up with the statement like “I dont expect a cup in Canada in the next 10-15 years…” based on what? 30 team league so no matter what 6+7 teams you name one of them should win a cup in 4 years? How bout The Sharks Blues Panthers Bluejackets Islanders Predators Wild Sabres Coyotes Flyers Capitals Avs Rangers Lightning Stars Devils 15 american teams twice as many as Canadian when was the last time any of them won a cup? Has it neen more than 4 years? You can flip a coin twice does it mean that its going to be 1 head 1 tail? Your argument is ridiculous.

        • “Canadian teams make up 1/4 of the NHL. So 1/4 of the time you would think they would make a run and win it. Thats one cup every 4 years,”…………………..Hahahahahahahaha that was worth the price of admission on its own.

  2. Any ideas as to what the Bruins would be offering for any of the “potential” trade targets? Haggerty had reported earlier last month that the 1st rounder, Bart, and Spooner were definitely off the table but what about some of these other prospects like Koko and Subban? Also, 1st rounder this year doesn’t appear to be a big deal to move as opposed to next years draft, which is supposedly much deeper but anyone know why the Bruins would be adamant about keeping this years 1st rounder?

    • I think they keep the pick because they traded their first rounder to Dallas for Jagr at the deadline last year. It’s tough to go two yrs straight without a first rounder in my opinion. A team can never have too many prospects in the system. Of the defencemen available this year I’d say a first round pick is too much to ask.

    • If I was the Snow and the Islanders I’d be willing to move off a 1st from the Bruins if I could land Subban from them and address that goaltending future.

      • Agreed Id rather take Subban than a first aswell

    • Don’t think Boston will move Subban unless the return is more than the names mentioned. He’s move valuable than the low first rounder.

  3. Stop arguing over these things… it doesn’t really matter… share a new rumor or something and don’t bash another person too much… AN

    • It’s better not to get involved. But what DChamp said he was kind of asking for it.

  4. Hey Spec or anyone else on this site do any of you know if in fact the Sabres landed 3 picks in yesterdays trade? I heard something about Sabres will receive a 1st rounder this year if Miller resigns or if the Blues go to the conference finals?

    • Sabres landed two picks. One is a first rounder in 2015. The other is a conditional pick. If the Blues reach the Western Conference Final or Miller re-signed, it’s a first round pick for this year. If not, the lowest it’ll be is a third round pick.

      • Thanks for clearing that up Spec.

  5. The Eastern Conference playoff picture is highly contested at the moment. For teams who make consistently make postseason contention and get hot about this time, they are turning on the heat. For teams who are inconsistent making the postseason every few years, they will find ways to falter.

    As long as Ottawa is within reach of a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, they will be buying instead of selling. If I were them, I would trade Phillips only if I was receiving players back for a playoff run.

    New Jersey still has a shot at a playoff berth. They are a team that gets hot after the deadline. I could see them making playoffs with better talent. As for Martin Brodeur, he has nothing else to prove. I would like to see him finish his career with the Devils.