NHL Morning Rumor Mill – September 17, 2013.

The latest on John-Michael Liles, Brooks Orpik, Ales Hemsky and Tom Gilbert.

No trade market for John-Michael Liles?

No trade market for John-Michael Liles?

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports Maple Leafs fans were wondering if the Carolina Hurricanes, prior to signing Ron Hainsey, would have interest in John-Michael Liles. Friedman points out the Hurricanes had interest three years ago during Liles’ final season with the Colorado Avalanche, but he vetoed a trade there. Friedman doubts Liles would change his mind.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leafs fans have traded Liles to pretty much every team around the league. In reality, the remaining three years (at $3.875 million per season) and limited no-trade clause makes dealing Liles a difficult endeavor. Not impossible, but difficult.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Responding to a reader’s suggestion of the Oilers swapping Ales Hemsky for Buffalo’s Steve Ott, Jim Matheson likes the idea, but doubts the Sabres would part with Ott as they value his abrasiveness. Matheson also suspects the Oilers would have to take another contract back in order to balance out the dollars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hemsky’s not going anywhere, at least not during the first half of this season. His salary ($5 million) and injury history is why he’s still in Edmonton.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Shelly Anderson reports long-time Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik declined to say if he’s begun contract talks with the club. Orpik, the longest-serving player on the Penguins roster, is entering the final season of his contract and is eligible for UFA status next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins currently have over $53 million invested in 12 players for next season. Though they have over $10 million in available cap space, they must be careful not to violate the league’s tagging rules, as their payroll for next season cannot exceed this season’s salary cap. In addition to Orpik, they also have to re-sign RFAs Simon Despres, Brandon Sutter and Dustin Jeffrey, plus they have to also consider re-signing other UFAs like Jussi Jokinen, Matt Niskanen and Tomas Vokoun. They also might prefer waiting until next June, when they know how much more cap space they’ll have to work with, before offering Orpik a new deal.

MIAMI HERALD’s George Richards reports via Twitter the Florida Panthers have invited defenseman Tom Gilbert to training camp on a professional tryout, but he’s yet to accept. The club wants him to join them before their Wednesday trip to Texas.


  1. Liles will end up in Calgary with Colborne- Leafs will get a 3rd or 4th round. Colborne will be sold as a prospect and try to become an effective 2 way 3rd line centre- when in reality he will be a bit player here

    • I have a feeling that Burke does not want to to do the Leaf organization ANY favors even if Nonnis is a close friend ….HIGHLY UNLIKELY !!!

      ” HI Dave thank you for the call …when can we meet for a few pops… hows the family ?”
      In regards to any Flames – Leafs deals …you can tell Liewicki and MLSE to go FLIP themselves …best of luck, I taught you this game and that’s not going to work with me ! THANK YOU see you soon Dave ! Taker care !!!….FLIP Liewicki…&%$@ HOLE

      Thats BURKIE !! …You can take the Blue & White out of the guy …but not the Black and Blue !! LOL …thats gotta hurt !!

  2. Well we scratched Gill… Grossmann, Meszaros and L.Schenn looked in top shape.

    I doubt Liles is moved. It is possible but I just do not see it.

    • Grossman looked very good, really stood out… not thats saying much even for a preseason game that was brutal. Schenn as well was good

  3. Is there any chance that Liles could be headed to Florida in exchange for Sean Bergenheim with Leafs likely having to eat the cap hit variance. The impetus being converting two perceived organizational liabilities into potential assets?

  4. A shout out to Tom Gilbert ……TAKE THE PANTHERS TRY OUT !!!!!!…..Its your only shot at the NHL again !!

    For the Oilers to save $ 2million dollars on trading Hemsky for Ott would be a mistake IMO ..they aren’t that in need of cap space at the present time and Hemsky when not hurt and playing at top potential is by far the better hockey player especially with the overall talent pool in Edmonton…obviously Buffalo has some money to open up to make the deal but if you don’t keep Vanek long term to play with Hemsky then you dont need to do that deal and take on more salary cap …Hemsky is not a Buffalo type player that’s for sure …Ott is !!

    In regards to Pittsburghs situation …they have to resign Orpik and Sutter FOR SURE!!
    If they need to make room Fleury is the odd man out and is the most expandable to make that happen.
    What and who you get in return as per another goalie moving forward is a GREAT topic worth discussion…this season will be the tell tale season for Fleury to see what happens …trade dead line or next off season might not be so nice to Fleury !! IMO

  5. I doubt Liles will accept Calgary if he rejected Carolina.
    He’s not going anywhere any time soon.
    As much as I wouldn’t like it, Toronto may have to face the music and trade Franson away since Liles is a tricky sell.

    • To be honest I really dont think Liles is that bad of a defenseman- and I dont think the contract is that onerous. For a team floating near the bottom of the pay scale he is attractive especially if the Leafs can trade the salary and pay a portion of his salary which if Im not mistaken is also allowed now..I think 20% but could be wrong….EVERYONE can be moved and would scratch Nonis’ back if he knew he would get his scratched later….

    • Id rather be able to pick up an asset with trading Franson then having to give one up to get rid of liles at this point. Never know closer to the deadline or if he puts together a string of good games might be able to get rid of him with less cost.

      • I think that if the Leafs were to eat say $1 million dollars of Liles’s contract he could be moved. He’s not a bad defenseman. Just overpaid.

  6. SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hemsky’s not going anywhere, at least not during the first half of this season. His salary ($5 million) and injury history is why he’s still in Edmonton.

    And neither is Ott!

    • Also Mac T would look a little like an ass with the presser to set the record straight a week or so ago when he said Hemsky will be an Oiler.

  7. I don’t see Ott going anywhere – I believe Bflo is in extension talks with him right now. Ott is the type of player Bflo hasn’t had in a while – he’s gritty, a leader and has skill. On the other hand, Edmonton has been shopping Hemsky for the past year, but no takers. My interest would be peaked if a Stafford for Hemsky deal was in the works. Although at this point I would really like Darcy to make an offer to Stepan – he is another player that would fit nicely with our youngsters and grow with the team. At the very least…..it would shake things up.


    How is this possible you ask?


    Leafs Cap Space $1,995,833

    Mason Raymond $ 950,000 1 year contract
    Cody Franson $2,300,000 2 year contract
    Mark Fraser -$1,275,000
    Leafs Cap Space $20,833

    It’s that’s SIMPLE….GET IT?

    • I thought Fraser signed a one way contract ?????

      As for Franson the Leafs would be nuts to just give him away ..this guy was 8th on Defense scoring in the NHL last year ..Iam not sure how people can just give this guy away ..hes the Leafs best shot from the point and on power plays… IMO

      • Nobody is doubting Franson’s potential and talent, and nobody is saying to give him away, at the same time though there are obvious contract issues that need to be settled, and if he’s holding out for more than what the cap ceiling is, he might as well pack his bags…
        Also, keep in mind (and this has been mentioned many times before) is that Franson played bottom 4 and PP minutes, so he wasn’t facing the best players from opposing teams. If he can still maintain top 10 scoring while paired with top 4, then he’s proven himself.

        • Yep agreed with Konstatine, he played pretty well in the bottom pairing sure he got some points but, lets not forget that his competition to move up to the second pairing due to injuries were Kostka Holzer Liles and Fraser, his play wasnt the only reason he got a chance to move up in the line up towards the end of the short season and playoffs. He was decent sure and yes put up some points but he was also the least of 5 evils. Lets not get carried away with his value to the team.

          • … cause it is really terrible when your bottom pairing defenseman is capable of putting up those kind of numbers? Alright, say Franson continues to play the 3rd pair and the powerplay, then you have Phaneuf, Gardiner, Rielly, Ranger, Percy, Granberg, Mcwilliam, Liles to choose from as well. Not sure I see an issue with something like Franson-Ranger anchoring the 3rd line … don’t see what big mystery of the world the guy has to prove other that he can keep it constant on the 3rd pair then.

          • No but paying 3 million plus (or anywhere around it) for a bottom pairing D isnt exactly ideal when you have issues with getting under the cap. I’m not against Franson he had a very good year point wise and if he can continue to do it as Konstantine said as a second pairing improving his defensive game then great we should keep him, but I dont think the sky is falling if we end up dealing him either. He never showed that type of potential before as a Leaf or a Predator (Dave Poile and Barry Trotz know a thing or 2 about recognizing defensive talent) so Im not really willing to say yet that he is as good as some think he is, there is slot not to like about how he plays in his own end. If he can prove it with an affordable deal then rethink it then, but dont be trading Kuli or forcing trades of guys by throwing away assets to get rid of Liles just to sign an unproven commodity to too much money.

  9. Orpik is just what the doctor ordered for alot of teams around the league including the Leafs minute munching hard defending dman. It will be interesting to see what happens with him. Im sure if he goes UFA he will get lots of offers and probably more money then what would be available to him in Pits. but it maybe tough to leave a perennial favorite to go far in the playoffs.

    • Phaneuf for Oprik!

      ….and then I woke up LOL

      • Liles for Orpik!

  10. I may be the only creature left on the planet to not get a pto from the panthers, me and alexandre daigle.

    • Yashin

  11. Toronto should make a move for the Sabres big guns. Vanek and Miller to Totronto with Kumelin, Reimer and Liles, a 4th player (to make salary work) and a 2nd round pick going the other way. Works because Buffalo gets a nice pick, younger and cheaper and the only negative from a re-build persepctive is taking on Liles contract but moving the other high cap contracts makes it worthwhile. Buffalo would have to retain a small chunk of salary, but again getting ayoung goalie, a high pick and and added cap flexibility is what a rebuilding team should do. Adding two stars to Toronto makes them cup challengers and gives them some cap room to sign Fransom.