NHL Morning Rumor Mill – September 20, 2013.

Latest on Derek Stepan, Cody Franson, Jaroslav Halak and Simon Gagne, plus a look ahead at next summer’s UFA market.

TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports the contract talks of New York’s Derek Stepan and Toronto’s Derek Stapan Cody Franson remain at an impasse. Stepan isn’t expected to be in the Rangers lineup for their season-opener on October 3. Dreger suggests the Leafs are content to wait out Franson unless their hand is forced by an offer sheet.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I noted in yesterday’s Rumor Mill, if both clubs weren’t squeezed for cap space these two would’ve been under contract long ago. Their respective asking prices ($3.5 million for Stepan, $3 million for Franson) are why they remain unsigned.  These standoffs could stretch into the regular season.

Jaroslav Halak must prove himself as the Blues starter.

Jaroslav Halak must prove himself as the Blues starter.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun expects the Maple Leafs to offer Mason Raymond a contract before the end of training camp…The St. Louis Blues consider Jaroslav Halak their starting goalie, but if he hasn’t inspired management confidence by the March trade deadline, the Blues could look toward the trade market (Ryan Miller?) for help. Halak is eligible for UFA status next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It certainly seems at this point Raymond has earned himself a roster spot on the Leafs. The Blues could also shop Halak (given his UFA status) if they feel he’s not the guy to carry them deep in the postseason. They also have Brian Elliott on their roster and Jake Allen in their system, but Elliott hasn’t proven himself reliable in the playoffs while Allen lacks experience.

TVA SPORTS: UFA winger Simon Gagne isn’t panicking over his situation, remaining hopeful of being signed by an NHL team. However, he could “make a decision” if he’s still unsigned by December.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That decision could be retirement.

SPORTSNET.CA: Luke Fox lists what he considers the top 30 players eligible for UFA status next summer. Among them: Henrik Lundqvist, Phil Kessel, the Sedins, Joe Thornton, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Miller, Ryan Callahan, and Jonas Hiller.

NHL.COM: Dan Rosen looks at the “seven big storylines” involving next summer’s potential UFAs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I recently noted, many of the big name potential UFAs could be re-signed by their respective clubs well before next July. Even so, it will still be a deep market, much better than this summer’s. There will be a number of notable players available come July 1, and given the anticipated increase in the salary cap ceiling, there could be considerably more activity – and excitement – in next summer’s market compared to this summer’s. 


  1. it is simple, if you cant trade Liles then send down Trevor Smith and Holzer and trade Mclaren. then you would have 4 million in cap space. Sign Franson 1 year 2.6 million or offer him 2 years 6 million. Then sign Raymond 1 year 1 million.
    Or plan B Trade Franson for prospects and picks demote smith, keep Holzer up. The Leafs would have 2.5 million. Offer Raymond a 2 or 3 year deal at 1.75 per. We have alot of defence prospects in the system

    • I wonder if you packaged Liles and Colborne (who its looking like it might be in a tough spot to make the team and cant be sent down) if a team might be a little more interested.

      • If Colborne does not make the team he has to clear waivers …is that a chance you take or do you keep him in the line up until you can get an asset back in a deal.

        I dont see him making the team on his potential but rather on that they would get nothing for him if he went through waivers !! .Once again watched him many times last year live he is only a 4th or at best 3rd line player on a good day !

      • Im not saying we would get a first round pick or anything close to that. but as you said a team looking for some depth at center possibly a third or fourth liner with a bit of poetential and a pmd. May be more willing to take a little more salary (Leafs might not end up holding a bunch of Liles to move him) or if you throw in Colborne it allows you to hold abit of Liles say 600k- 1mill with out it effecting the cap this year with the savings from moving Colborne with him.

        Liles at 2.9. And Colborne so 3.5 in salary 2 kind of useful players, you could look at it like around 1.75 mill for each and you have a bottom pairing D man and a third line center for a second or third. Might be apealling to someone….maybe.

        • Or even for a guy making around 950k (in other words a bit of salary coming back) then demote him to the marlies with little to no caphit.

    • I bet Calgary would take a run at it. May not be a lot coming back. Maybe a 2015 2nd but who cares

  2. I really like kulemim, would try and resign him to an extension before start of season to about 2.2 to 2.5 million, if he doesnt want to ship him out. send down smith and Holzer and you would have roughly 6 million in cap space, trade Mclarlen and you would have 6.7 million.
    franson 1 year 2.8
    Raymond 2 years 1.5per
    Brendan Morrow 1.5
    plus you get a mid level prospect for Kuli and still have 900k to work which is like 3.6 million at deadline

    I love Kuli but this is if he doesnt sign and you get a leader in Morrow

  3. “TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports the contract talks of New York’s Derek Stepan and Toronto’s Derek Stapan”
    Trying to start a rumor Spector? :)

    • That’s what happens when I work before my morning coffee has kicked in…;)

  4. After watching last nights game its very clear that Franson is not missed in any way shape for form Reilly Ranger are PERFECT pairing Marshall , Percy OR Mc Williams can easily play on the Leafs so Franson isn`t a necessity…..would I give up a quality player just to give him an extra million when Leafs have such quality depth on the blue line …the answer is …NO!!! I would not just give away a great 2 way player in Kulimen just to have $1million more in cap space he is too valuable on special teams as well!

    Either Liles goes or Phanuef goes to open up room …NO ONE ELSE!!!

    Raymond is a must on the Leafs he has great wheels and IMO should play with Kessel for that reason !

    Halak will be dealt at some point as St Louis must move forward ….the team is of great quality and they need a franchise goalie to go along with that and anchor the team for a few years to make a serious run !
    Hes expendable !
    With Gibson and Victor rising in Anahiem ……..Hiller would be a good fit here for a few years.

    How good is that goalie LAWSON In Ottawa ….wow diamond in the ruff …..he will push Lehner or Bryan Murray has another option to capatalise on a really good trade moving out Lehner for something of significant value if need be as Lawson may be good enough to fill the void !

    Simmone Ganger should retire !

    • yes but if kulimen is gonna walk at end of the season we should get something for him, Morrow would replace him on pentally kill and bring a bunch of experience and leadership. I am just saying if he was not going to resign, see where his head is at. What if he wants a raise lol, We have to many players to resign. McClement we need to lock up, Kessel Dion Gardiner, Bolland, Faser and if Ranger exceds expectations him too. There is no room for Kuli if he demands a raise. Morrow could be a potential captain if Dion walks. Plus having additional prospects and cap space is a bonus,

      • And who is going to replace Dion lmao, you wont part with Kuli for Morrow but will just get rid of Dion, give your head a shake, another Dion Hater

        • Yep

          • So far he said Franson should get a bridge deal yesterday he said Franson should be locked up for 4 years today he said we should trade him, when ever Nonis finally decides what to do with Franson the next day Back checking will be on here sayin “See I was right!!!”

          • Trade Phaneuf so we have room to sign Raymond….smh

          • Why would you want to keep Dion at 6.8 million in a UFA year that can help you sign 3 – 4 players when you have a legit 5 NHL ready D men knocking at the door that can easily replace him and his production long term if given the chance …yeah Dion is the leafs saviour my ASS give me a break !!!
            They only win with him in the line up COME ON look at the numbers and what can be done with $7 million this year !!
            I see so much potential in the depth of the Lefas D that need to be there Dions money is eating away at that growth slowing down the process!

      • you cant get rid of dion until you have someone to replace him, remember he plays against top line, ovie stamkos crosby nash ect. 20 to 30 min a game, he is under appreciated in Toronto, Who right now is going to replace him Back Checking

        • I am still looking forward and saying, as the season progresses, I see the following happening:

          – Leafs look very closely at the Subban signing/UFA situation.
          – If Subban looks like he’ll be hard to sign (which I think he will), the Leafs won’t sign Phaneuf before the off-season.

          – Then, if it looks like they can sign hometown boy Subban for virtually the same money they’re currently paying Phaneuf (+$1M or so), they will risk signing Subban and losing Phaneuf for nothing/trade his rights in the off-season for a pick.

          I know these boards are havens for “everyone & their dog” signing with the Leafs, but to me, it makes sense with Subban, both in terms of $$$ and it being his hometown team.

          [Note: I am NOT a Leafs fan, either!]

      • Morrow as captain of the leafs…..what are you smokin bro I need some of that. Have you noticed that morrow is past his prime and still a ufa, and your going to make him captain of the greatest hockey fanchise in the world. That’s a joke

        • i was just saying if he signed this year he could become captain next year, who else is gonna step up and be Captain lol, none of the current leafs from last year fit that bill, maybe Mclement. Perhaps a New Leaf Clarkson or Bolland. You dont have to have the best player be captain just someone who is respected by everyone. He isnt even going to sign with the Leafs, i said he could replace Kuli, if Kuli wanted to much money, trade Kuli, for
          1 prospects, or draft pics
          2 moreCap relief
          3 someone with more expeirence and better in locker room.
          The guy captained an NHL team before won a memorial Cup, World championship and Olympic Gold, if he signed with the Leafs (99 percent wont happen, he would be a top choice to be the next Leafs captain if Phaneuf left, if you dont see that you dont know hockey AllhailtheleafsWHo would you name captain lmao from last years roster? Bozak lol

          • The next captain of leafs if Dion goes will likely be Lupul. He’s already taken a leadership role with the team and is one of the guys that will go talk to the media.

  5. JUST AN ….F Y I …..

    Bernier looks awesome ..very controlled and very poised and has great athletic ability ..almost Belfour like in his later years !

    Tim Thomas even on the Florida Panthers will be a Vezina candidate and will be in the top of the league…Dave Tallon better recognize this and make an impact and not let this opportunity slip to have an elite Goalie back there and no team to help contend ..they can be a serious threat as Thomas will steal MANY 1 and 2 goal games this year which will mean a playoff birth or not …I say they sqeek in becuase of Tim Thomas in the end !

    • FYI… your LEAFS saviour is already injured!!!!!!

      Really??? You think a 39 year old goalie who hasn’t played in OVER A YEAR, is going to make such a difference that Florida will go from last place in the SouthLeast division, to being better than at least 3 of (but more likely 4 or 5 of!!!!!) the new Atlantic?????? WOW!! I think you need to set some more realistic expectations!!! Which teams do you think they will finish ahead of??? I can count maybe Buffalo, but that’s about it!! This is with THOMAS or without!!!!

      I thought I should add a little extra punctuation and CAPS so you would be able to understand what I wrote!!!

      • Gold.

  6. Out of those 7 notables there are 3 I could see moving potentially, Joe Thornton, Jonas Hiller and Ryan Miller. The rest I see all getting resigned.

    • I mean of the group mentioned above

  7. leafs,greatest franchise in the world, please. sounds like your smoking leaf.

  8. Wow some of the comments today are making my head spin! LOL
    I’ll address the Leaf talk since that’s what interests me the most.
    Franson need to get with the program and think more about the team than himself.
    He knows next year’s UFA market sis huge which us why he wants a longer deal, the thing is he wants longer term and more pay at the same time. Can’t have your cake and eat it too kid. Take the $2.5M that I’m sure you’ve been offered for 2 years and run with it.
    As for Phaneuf, I’ve mentioned in the past that I think Toronto should trade him while he still has value, but I would want them to go after someone who can take his place. I would take Orpik, or work a trade for Muzzin, Garrison, Martin, or Prout. Toronto needs stay at home solid D-men, they have a ton of talent in puck movers…

    • sausage fingers today, tons of typos, sorry all

    • Agreed. I’d be happy with picks or prospects as long as we get a defensive dman coming back with him
      Gudbranson and a first from Florida (just an example) and try to move reimer to Calgary or one if those teams for a pick. Maybe breen and a second?

  9. Would morrow be a fit in Edmonton? I’m sure he wants some security of a longer deal, they could offer a 3×3 and he could really help fill a role there.
    I believe one of or more wont finish the season in toronto, kessel, phaneuf, franson, Reimer, gunnerson. With some young players looking good they could be mid season call ups and moving a player might be an option. Leafs need to address their lack of high end forward prospects. After Kadri they don’t really have many top line guys unless leivo pans out which was a late round lucky pick.