NHL Morning Rumor Mill – September 19, 2013.

Updates on  Derek Stepan, Cody Franson,and Cory Emmerton, while the Senators and Capitals potentially face some roster moves.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports no progress in the Rangers contract impasse with RFA center Derek Stepan.  The Rangers are reportedly offering $2.9 million per season on a two-year deal, while Stepan seeks $3.5 million per season.

No change in Cody Franson's contract impasse with the Leafs.

No change in Cody Franson’s contract impasse with the Leafs.

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports the Maple Leafs and defenseman Cody Franson remain far apart in their contract standoff. Franson acknowledged the cap crunch the Leafs currently face, adding he’s “trying to make it happen for both sides.” He’s believed seeking a one-year, $3 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In both cases, lack of cap space explains why both players remain unsigned. The earliest their respective situations could be sorted out is toward the end of next week, when both clubs could clear some cap space via trade, waivers or demotions.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James reports the Red Wings will have to shed three players by the end of this month to reach the roster maximum of 23. St. James suggests center Cory Emmerton could avoid the cut because of his skills and affordable salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Emmerton was a fixture in this summer’s trade rumor mill, but the addition of Daniel Cleary and a nagging back injury to Darren Helm suggests the club could look elsewhere to shed salary and create roster room.

KUKLA’S KORNER: cited an interview by Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray with The Team 1200, noting the club has “more players on the roster on non-waiver exempt one way contracts (defenceman Eric Gryba and forwards Stephane da Costa, David Dziurzynski and Mike Hoffman) than they have open spots.” Murray could trade one of them, targeting teams with injuries, for a “soft pick”.

CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley reports if prospect Tom Wilson makes the Washington Capitals roster, they’ll have to shed  $628,462 to fit Wilson’s $1.3 million rookie salary under their payroll. “The only viable options at forward would be to trade or place on waivers Jason Chimera [1 year, $1.75 million], Mathieu Perreault [1 year, $1.05 million] or Jay Beagle [2 years, $900,000 per]”, writes Gormley.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of that trio, I suspect Perreault could be the odd man out.


  1. Rangers should have bought out Richards and moved on as this contract has restricted them moving forward and has tied there hands with multiple players that could be more beneficial to the over all team in the future!

    Leafs need to make a trade and sign Raymond and Franson ( longer term ) …Kulimen may be the first to fall and then we will see if there are any serious injuries with a D man to move Liles out ….

    I still feel its very much in the Leafs best interest to move out Phanuef with a quality prospect to make the deal easier to swallow and free up that good amount of salary cap and give the team some breathing room and look to where they may be at trade deadline and see if they are in the hunt and add a rental player with the remaining cap space going into the playoffs ( IF THEY MAKE IT – highly unlikley )

    Agree with Lyle on Perreault …he was up and down last year and had a little fit about being sent down as well …Chimera is a big guy and quality veteran and Beagle has a better rounder game… clutch !

    Perreault should get picked up

    • I agree on almost all points EXCEPT trading Kulemin, people who call for him to be traded are what I like to call “camera fans” just because he doesn’t rack up points, or is constantly in the frame on TV doesn’t mean he’s not doing much.
      I get to catch at least 1 game per season live, and I’m always impressed with his off-camera game. His positioning is great, he’s more physical than he gets credit for, he kills penalties like a champ, and his checking and defensive game are the best on the team. He needs to absolutely stay!

      • I understand hes a great defensive player YES ..but coming up on UFA he wont be resigned and Raymond will so its the time to move on at this point !

        • Interesting, why do you think he won’t be resigned? He has no injury history (unlike Raymond), he quietly does his job, and is great at it.

          • Iam a huge fan …its just a Liewicki culture change that is on the horizon.

            I have figured out that the reason Burke was fired was that Liewicki made this demand before he was to sign in Toronto …he wanted nothing to do with Burke so he gave them an altamatum Iam not signing before Burke goes ..these guys could not work together !!!

          • Assuming what you say about Liewicki is true, I don’t think that has anything to do with Kulemin. Keep in mind he came on the scene in ’07 (JFJ signed him) so he’s not a Burke connection. This also makes him the longest serving Leaf on the team and believe it or not, a veteran presence to his team-mates. Not re-signing him would be a huge mistake on Nonis’ part in my eyes.

          • Im pretty sure Liewicki has no problem firing general managers, why would he make the demand its Burke or me? So far 2 out of 3 gms involved with MLSE and have been relieved from their duties by Tim and the COO resigned. I think Tim has and was going to take care of business how he sees fit in person weather Burke was there or not. That theory is a bit of (a huge) stretch.

      • I would say it’s more the teams pushing the players out. Both teams threw around a bit too much money and didn’t leave enough to sign these guys to deals they deserve and are fair knowing they have little choice but to hold out or re-sign. A $600k per year might not seem like a big difference to you but that is $1.2mil over a two year bridge contract. If your boss wanted to low ball you out of over a million dollars you wouldn’t become a little upset or disenfranchised with your employers?

        • I don’t know why my comment was posted up here…I was responding to the discussion below

    • I want no part of Raymond or Franson for long term yet we have options for a 3rd line winger and a 4 or 5 d man that will be cheaper and probably better in the very near future. They would be good options for a year or 2 at most.

      • Raymond is good for 2 years …Id like Framnson at 4 for right now …Leafs have no one in the minors with his size , shot or presence , Reilly is still a bit away and is not as physical , Grandberg MAYBE!!

        Leivo will be the next big thing on wing in a year or two !

        • Come on now, Franson’s physical game leaves much to be desired so his size is not much of an advantage. I’m a fan of the guy, but he’s a shooter and a puck mover, he’s not the shut-down hard hitting type…

        • Bc you said lock up Franson and Raymond long term I said they are good for a year or 2then you say Raymond for 2 years? Which is exactly what I said 2 years at most is not long term as you said in a year or 2 we could have Levio in his spot at a. Better more controlable contract situation than Raymond, and if he dosent make the team this year Reilley will make it next year and I could see Granburg McWilliam and Blacker all getting serious looks this year and thats not even mentioning Percy all these guys will need playing time (not top pairing minutes) so where does that leave room for bottom 3 pairing D men on long term expensive contracts? A year or 2 at most for Franson and Raymond if they have strong showings revisit it then but dont handcuff your self giving up long term deals.

  2. Franson is slowly pushing himself out of Toronto. To force a team to it’s cap-limit for only a one year contract screams “I really don’t want to be here but I’m stuck”
    Which can only end with a hold-out and eventual trade before Dec 1, or he gets his 1 year deal and still gets traded before the end of it.
    I’ve always liked his potential, but this hold out is speaking volumes of his character.

    • You could almost say the same for Stepan….the difference between his asking price and what the Rangers are offering is only $600K.I’m sure that Stepan is aware that the cap went down,but will rise a bit next season.When your talking about millions of dollars,what real difference would missing out on that $600K for one season make?Stepan (and Franson) should move a little closer to what their respective teams have offered, play hard all year, and score a bigger payday that is closer to what each player has in mind.

      • Almost, except Stepan was their #1 C last year, Franson was Toronto’s #5 D-man, and then later #4 but I see your point.

        • I like Franson – problem is he is not getting the play time he deserves based on his stats. Most likely he’ll sign a one year deal with TO, but I’d like to see another club throw him an offer sheet.

          • Im almost hoping for the offer sheet at this point just to end the speculation (particularly if it was in the neighborhood of 3.5 mil. An over payment that would result in a first round pick)

      • I really think the Rangers thought they could low ball Stepan – because they are the Rangers. They knew he was an RFA this year and based on his performance over the past few years even I knew he would want more than $2.5M. Is he better than Henrique or Hodgson – I’d say he is a year or so further ahead in development. Also I liken Stepan to Callahan – a Drurey type of player.

        Rangers decided to play their cards and thought Stepan would play along with them – it didn’t work. I’m sure Stepan wants a committment similar to what Henrique and Hodgson got and he should get it. Would love to have him on my Sabres team.

        • I’m still of the belief that the Rangers’ position on Stepan has only a very little to do with the cap. I think they have leverage and believe they only want to pay him $2.9M (or maybe budge a little higher, but get near $3.5M).

          There are a few moves they could have made to open up the cap space already, if they’d wanted to pay him $3.4-$3.5M. They have chosen not to do that. I think that, barring injuries or an 0-6 start to the season, they will stick to their guns. As Spector has noted many times, what leverage does Stepan have?

          [Note: I think he’s worth more than $2.9M, personally. And so might the Rangers. But if they think they’ll be a better team now and in the future for waiting him out at $2.9M, that’s what they’ll do.]

          • *but NOT get near $3.5M.

            (I need more coffee this morning… lol)

          • I agree with ya

          • ^5 Shticky!

  3. Stepan should sign in KHL just like Ryan O’Reilly did. What Sather is trying to do here is stupid.

  4. Why won’t some team throw an offer sheet at Stepan? He’s certainly worth it.

    • I’m still not sure about that part. I know it has to do with “the code” of GMs – I’m just not sure why that code exists! Every GM is trying to screw with cap rules and get around them, but why is this rule so taboo? Why have an offer sheet rule in the CBA if it isn’t there to be utilized?

      If I were a rival team, hoping to fight with the Rangers this year for playoff positioning, I’d offer Stepan something a little high, but reasonable: 4 yrs x $4.2M? The Rangers would surely match, but it’d bump them over the cap and they’d have to trade someone away. This would make them weaker than if they signed Stepan for $3M AND kept the other player.

      Isn’t a GM’s job to make his team better, and not to worry about offer sheet “code”? And people argue: then the Rangers’ GM won’t trade with whoever made the offer sheet. But isn’t Sather’s job to make his team better, and not worry about the code, either? And if trading with GM #2 later on will make his team better, shouldn’t he put personal feelings aside and make the deal?

      All weird to me..

      • * = and if the Rangers didn’t match, 4x$4.2M isn’t a huge amount of risk or overpayment for Stepan, either

      • Maybe offer sheets a Players Union idea that the owners begrudgingly accepted, so hence the GM’s don’t want to use it.
        Just spit-balling…

        • Im pretty sure owners and GMs are starting to see offer sheets as counter productive at least with future negotiations, could be the topic was brought up last year during a meeting or something that they were to be avoided for the overall health of the teams in the league (in other words maybe a memo or phone call from Gary saying guys you are just driving up costs which we are trying to avoid here) if there was an understanding in place, it would have been avoided in bargaining. Again just spit balling but agreed with Konstantine.

  5. Stepan should be signed nyr just screwed themselves with the cap and now there stuck.
    Toronto is going to make franson wait and he will have to cave. With the depth at decent d men franson isn’t in a position of strength for negotiating.
    Leafs should look at moving quantity for quality this year. They have decent depth at d and with reimer and bernier. Also have a few young guys who could be depth at forward in leivo, ashton, colborne and biggs. I would like to see a few of those forwards get a shot instead of having both goons but that’s not carlyles style.