NHL Morning Rumor Mill – September 25, 2013.

Updates on Derek Stepan, Jose Theodore, Ryan Miller, Simon Gagne and more, plus the latest on the Capitals.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports contract negotiations between Derek Stepan and the NY Rangers have stagnated in the wake of Rangers GM Glen Sather’s remarks that he didn’t think Stepan would be “big enough of a fool” to risk missing the season. Brooks noted the Rangers appear to have all the leverage (barring an offer sheet) against Stepan, but they also face starting the season without top-six wingers Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin, and now could be without their first-line center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stepan camp could be hoping a slow start by the Rangers could force the club to improve its offer, especially with Callahan and Hagelin likely to be on long-term injured reserve early in the season.

Theodore to the Penguins?

Theodore to the Penguins?

RDS.CA: Francois Gagnon reports Jose Theodore doesn’t intent to retire, despite the “dirty trick” the Florida Panthers played by giving Tim Thomas the position they apparently promised him. Theodore has an offer from Avangard Omsk of the KHL, but he’s also had preliminary talks with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who’ve lost backup Tomas Vokoun indefinitely as he recovers from a surgical procedure to dissolve a blood clot in his pelvis. The Penguins are waiting to hear a timetable for Vokoun’s return before continuing negotiations with Theodore.  They would have to place Vokoun on LTIR before signing Theodore.  The Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks also reportedly had some interest in Theodore.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like Theodore prefers to remain in the NHL, but he’ll have to be patient. His best bet could be with the Penguins if Vokoun should be sidelined for a lengthy period. The Predators and Sharks have been trying out young goalies with little NHL experiences as backups, so there could be a fit with one of those teams. This could stretch into the start of the season next week for Theodore before he knows for certain where he’ll play.

TVASPORTS.CA: The recent signings of Brenden Morrow and Damien Brunner is giving hope to UFA winger Simon Gagne he could also get an NHL contract offer, though he acknowledged he might have to wait until the regular season to get one. Gagne claimed he’s still in discussion with several teams. He’s currently skating with the Quebec Remparts and has no retirement plans.

CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley speculates on the possible Capitals trade candidates as they try to make room for prospect Tom Wilson. ” The most likely candidates are center Mathieu Perreault [one year, $1.05 million cap hit] and left wing Aaron Volpatti [2 years, $575,000 cap hit].”, writes Gormley, who also speculates rival clubs could have interest in Jason Chimera.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports Ryan Miller referred to himself in an interview over the weekend as a “tradeable asset” but was told by the Sabres it was critical for him and Thomas Vanek to set a positive example while still in Buffalo. Miller tangled with fellow goalie Jonathan Bernier during the Sabres-Maple Leafs donnybrook on Sunday…If Cody Franson signs with a European team, he’ll have to clear waivers before he could return with the Maple Leafs…There could be some interest in defenseman Paul Postma if the Winnipeg Jets opt to trade him…Several teams apparently have some interest in defenseman Tom Gilbert, who’s on a tryout with the Florida Panthers.


  1. Derek Stepan

    Sather has left no room for one of his top players …cap geek shows :
    To me this is a slap in the face to Stepan as at this point hes an afterthought …Id say he should hold out play in europe and come back next year as an UFA and hit a home run …Sather is paying 3 / 4 of the team $1.5 million or less on average …and a TON of UFAs next year !!
    This is one situation where the player should be pissed right off ! …
    Hey over here …hey what about me …HELLLLOOO !!!

    Stepan may never get the money he is entitled to on the Rangers even long term as they can not afford him due to the enormous salaries to just a few as they have 16 RFA and UFAs combined to resign plus major raises for at least 6 of those guys !

    $7.5 for Nash
    $6.6 for Richards
    $4.5 for Callahan
    $4.7 McDonagh
    $ 4.0 for Stall
    $3.5 for Girardi

    Theo will get a break if Pitt is looking for a cheap good option maybe anothe French speaking goalie might be good for Fleury and he also would know there is no chance of Theo taking over is position long term due to his age!

    It is clear as day …Millers time in Buffalo is OVER !!
    He needs a new quest to re inspire him …he doesnt look very inspired to play this year yet again !!

    Miller taker some advise ….make ….OR ….take the trade !!!! Get on with it and play for the cup with a team that can compete !

    • BC – I agree with you on Stepan and I am very surprised that some other team hasn’t given him an offer sheet. Not only does Sather lowball Stepan, but he added his insult and arrogance to the deal. Maybe Sather is looking for another team to make an offer – maybe Stepan should sign with a European team and have to clear waivers.

      Miller – well there really isn’t anyplace for him to go. He wants to make the Olympic team, so he better play lights out. Part of Miller’s problem is that he can name 8 teams he doesn’t want to go to – makes me wonder if Calgary and Edmonton are on his NT list. Another problem is Miller’s salary – right now CO and Calgary seem to be the only teams that have the cap space with the “unknown goalie” factor.

      • Ramo & McDonald have played the perfect role for the salaries they are on in a rebuild ..Calgary should not burden themselves with that
        It would have to be a player for player deal along with close Salaries to make it work.

      • If my understanding of the waiver rules are correct – and there’s a good chance they’re not! – the problem with Stepan (and Franson) signing with a European team is that they’d have to clear waivers. This would be a very bad thing for them

        Why? Because then the Rangers/Leafs would NEVER bring them back to the NHL before their contract expired, as they would effectively just be giving them to another team (who would doubtless pluck them from the waiver wire).

        So, if Stepan or Franson signs in Europe, they would know that they would play there for the full duration of the contract and would not be coming back to the NHL until it was done. Not a good move!

        Can anyone correct me if I have that wrong? Thanks!

    • Yo Back Checking!!! do yourself and ranger fans a favor and worry about your own team because you are clueless what’s going on with the rangers. Stepan will sign a 2 year bridge deal. The rangers will sign the king to a extension and there captain, not sure about Girardi. The rfa’s will get raises but not as much as you think and the cap will go up do to revenue. The rangers have plenty of kids in the pipeline that will be coming up in a year or 2. Stepan will get his money in 2 years where the cap will go up even more. Either you just a ranger hater or don’t know much about the rangers or how the nhl cap works.

      • also forgot to mention that in the off season Richards will be bought out so that’s 6.6 million saved in cap. The rangers will have plenty of money to sign there players.

        • well, there you go, stepan signed his bridge deal, cap hit 3.1 mil… LGR’s!!!

  2. i really hope Jose Theodore ends up in Pittsburgh! MAF needs a change! Big time!

    • MAF pretty much is Jose Theodore, no?

      • Theodore is way better then MAF! he had a rough couple years do to personal stuff! i think if you give him a chance he can be better then MAF! like his Montreal years! or i least hope so! bottom line! “MAF” need a change.

  3. Hey Lyle Richardson regarding yesterdays comments who cares if the leafs are paying him 7 million mid way through the contract, I dont understand why you care so much about that. I would have preferred paying him 10 millon those middle years, year 6 and 7 he is making what he will be worth for that age, i dont have the numbers but i am guessing 3 million. All That matters for the Leafs is the cap hit, and the comment i made about Weber i wasnt comparing the two i was just saying he is getting 14 million this year, No player is worth that much in one season maybe Crosby, Flyers did that so they could get him, did not work tho. Anyways year 6 and 7 he will be 3 million dollar player with cap hit of 5.25 if he isnt producing trade him to a team that is trying to get to the cap floor. If the Leafs had Luongo and Schiender the would have bought out Luongo, because the have so much damn money, Vancouver doesnt. So why are you so worried Clarkson is getting 7 million half way through his contract, makes no sense, makes perfect sense to me. and the Bickell Clarkson comparasion, Clarkson right now is the better player, and if he would have left Chicago he would have got more money and longer term, probably would have waited until Clarkson signed and used him as a comparasion

    • I’ve taken the time to explain in great detail why I consider the Clarkson contract a bad one. If you don’t understand why, that’s not my problem.

      • No we just have different options doesnt make you right, and he has a bad contract it is how you percieve it. Like Back Checking said we might have over paid 500k but it was the market at the time, plus cap is going up, Maybe that is why you are a writer and not a GM. But you are totally lost when talking about about the 7 million in year 4 and 5, has nothing to do with it, It is the cap the only thing the Leafs are worried about, Really Think about it,

        • Your team has probably over paid for a player, every team is guilty of that, you are probably just jealous of the tough skilled team Toronto is building, Clarkson has some skill and is tough, fits the teams identity to a tee,

          • Again, go back and re-read what I’ve written. I’ve made my opinion quite clear. “Jealousy” has nothing to do with it. Just because other teams also stupidly overpaid for players over the years doesn’t give the Leafs a free pass. If I’m wrong, so be it and I’ll happily admit it. But I doubt I’ll be proven wrong.

    • Clarkson is overpaid and highly overated.

      He’s already made an a** of himself and the season hasn’t even started.

      One of the worst signings ever.

      Nonis aka NONSENSE!

      • The Leafs weren’t even mentioned in this thread. Please just stop already.

        • Agreed with Ruiner

  4. If I were Stephan I would sign in the KHL and tell Sather to F-off. I wouldn’t wait around, it just gives the Rangers more leverage.

  5. If Franson had to go through waivers after returning from the KHL, isn’t that a good thing? (for him, of course)

    • If my understanding is right (again, I’m not certain), that’s great for Franson. But the Leafs would never recall him, because it’s awful for them – so Franson would have to play the entire duration of his contract in the KHL with no real chance of coming back to the NHL until it was over. That might be ok by him, but my hunch is it’s not.

      (Again, I might have this rule wrong, but I think that’s the gist of it)

  6. Hey Lyle, jw if you wrote articles and stuff. If you do would love to check them out, Also i am a 21 year old with the passion of sports like no other, Any advise you have for people my age that are about to give up on there dream doing what you do.

    • Yes, get a journalism degree and never accuse someone who holds a differing opinion than yours of jealousy. It comes across as childish. Cheers.

      • Kudos Lyle :)

        These “Kids” think they know everything.

        Haven’t paid their dues and think the world owes them something.

        Get some life experience kid and start living real life then after you do that then maybe you’ll understand. Maybe.

        • Saying that a person younger than you doesn’t ‘understand’ and hasn’t ‘paid their dues’ when you know nothing about them shows that you’re just as naïve as these so called ‘kids’ are.

          • Thanks CMac, and saying i think the world owes me something, I don’t think that at all, You have to earn everything in life by fighting and gaining experience as much as you can if you want to become something, i dont listen to comments like that tho, I have lived a real life for 21 years, i have a business degree and am working hard to do what i want to do in life, i wont get into my personal life but i have overcome a few obstacles. Shouldn’t judge someone because of there age

      • +1

    • Hey Michael, justa heads up. Dont hijack a thread wanting to continue a discussion started on another thread. People don’t want to waste their time rehashing a topic that has already been discussed elsewhere. Thanks.

      • my bad Ruiner, just a discussion i was having with Lyle that carried into today, didnt know if my msg would be replied to from yesterday, sorry about that, i will stay on topic lol

        • @Michael, Nothing personal, but If you just finished a business degree I would have assumed you would have mastered your punctuation, grammar and capitalization. You will need those skills in the business world.

          @CMac, now that comment is naive, to assume that a 21 year old has paid their dues. Especially for someone who apparently has just received a business degree. Let’s do the math. Finished high school at 17, 4 years for a degree equals 21. Where is the time for real world experience?

          BTW the +1 was for Lyle.

  7. What dont i understand lol, i graduated with a business degree and am thinking of going into sports administration. Just because i am 21 doesnt mean i dont understand. And Lyle said i explained WHY Claskson signing is wrong, he didnt he gave me someone elses article to read, and told me cause year 4 and 5 he makes 7 million, THAT does not matter, It is not 7 million against the cap, Who cares what MLSE is paying Clarkson that year if it is not against the CAP. He scores 25 a year sticks up for teammeates and is annoying to play against Great signing . Do you even write your own articles Lyle or just give your 2 cents on everyone elses articles, (seriously im want to know if you right your own articles) I am probably a little bias towards my team lol, I am looking for an article that goes into depth about the 7 Canadian franchises and who is set up best for the future and Suggestings?

    • FYI, calling out the guy who owns the site you are posting on, is not a wise idea.

      • @Lyle, ban this kid.

        • Ban me lol, i can just create a new account if i wanted to, didn’t do anything wrong. Business is three years in Sudbury btw. Also i was just saying Lyles comment makes no sense and it doesn’t. I don’t give a crap if Wayne Gretsky wrote this article, i disagreed with his comment he wrote yesterday when i asked his opinion. So what just because he runs this site doesn’t mean i have to bend over and agree with him. drop it dude,

          • Every Degree listed at Laurentian is a 4 year degree?? I’m confused. Maybe they don’t offer them anymore. Regardless of that, one year of experience still isn’t paying your dues.

            I don’t disagree with your right to have a different opinion, but I do disagree with the method you chose to voice that disagreement. You repeatedly attacked another poster and called their ethics into question.

            Worst of all, it was the owner of the site. Asking him if he writes, not rights, any of his own articles crossed a line, IMHO. Try to show some respect. You are lucky that Lyle has a thick skin and puts up with that kind of stuff.

            I guess it’s a good thing it’s not my site.
            That is my opinion.

        • Ha!

          • sorry the Man_Oss was not trying to attack Lyle really wasn’t it got took the wrong way. I was just asking if he writes his own colums, Seriuosly wanted to know. I agree with alot of stuff he sais, We just have a different opinion on things but it is over with. I thought i was banned because when i put a comment it said it was being monitored. That has not happened before. Also it was a College degree (Cambrian) but my marks were high enough i can go to Laurention for sports Admin and start 2nd year. I am actually trying to start my own campain to benifet my College, long story but i need to get in touch with the right people, but in a couple of years i plan on making a name for my College. I just need the right person with experience to listen to my idea lol. It is something i have had planned for two years and is driving me crazy. My passion for sports is through the roof, I may be 21 and have alot to learn and i apologize to anyone i upsetted

  8. Don’t understand how Tavares isn’t in top 10 of this years tsn top 50, However i think it was a much better job this year with Coaches voting, i would put Tavares over Giroux and Zetterberg and Chara, but really gd list

  9. Just ban me it is alright, i know you are going to look over this post. But just know you are wrong about Clarkson getting a bad contract, not because of it being a bad contract. That is up for debate time will tell but your comment about him getting 7 million in year 4 and 5. Toronto is one of the richest franchises and it isn’t against the cap. His cap hit is 5.25 million, Just get it into you are wrong,

    • I don’t know what you’re talking about regarding “banning”. You weren’t banned. I disagree with your opinion about Clarkson’s contract (which has been talked to death and I’m not about to get into again) but you weren’t “banned”.

  10. ok, my apology.

    • Man, stop your crying. Go back to grammar school.

  11. It’s GretZky by the way…

  12. Franson 1 year 2 million…sweet deals

    • awesome i am so excited, Franson is a gd guy doing that for the Leafs, We are fine now, Holzer and Smith goes down and we still have about 250k, Smith, Ashton will stay up until Claskson get back from suspenion. that will eat up 75k but we are under the cap, what a relief to have Franson back. (i wish somehoe Levio would be stay until Clarkson got back lol)

    • Sweet! The team looks good.

    • With this Franson signing, does that spell movement or demotion for Liles? Havent really read there was a lot of interest in him. He might be serviceable for a team like Carolina with Pitkanen down for the year.