NHL Morning Rumor Mill – September 9, 2013.

The Panthers are in need of a veteran backup, the latest on the Flyers, and an update on Daniel Cleary.

Could Jose Theodore return with the Panthers?

Could Jose Theodore return with the Panthers?

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov reports Florida Panthers backup goalie Scott Clemmensen underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week and is sidelined for three weeks. While Clemmensen is expected back in time for the season opener on October 3, Panthers GM Dale Tallon will be shopping for a veteran free agent backup. There’s no indication, however, if Tallon will considering bringing back Jose Theodore.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The pickings are decidedly slim in the free agent market. The best of the bunch are  Theodore, Tim Thomas, Ilya Bryzgalov, Rick DiPietro and Johan Hedberg. Theodore and Hedberg could be the most affordable backup options.

It’s uncertain if whoever they add would stick around once Clemmensen returns. They could be merely on a training camp tryout contract and cut before the season begins.

CSNPHILLY’s John Boruk reports the following via Twitter: “If Hal Gill makes Flyers team (and it’s a decent possibility), it opens the door for a (Andrej) Meszaros trade once he’s medically cleared to play.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Meszaros was mentioned as a possible trade candidate during the summer, particularly as the Flyers need to shed salary to free up room for other roster additions/call-ups this season. Given his injury history and $4 million salary, Meszaros could be tough to move.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported the following via Twitter: “Dan Cleary continues to consider his options. Still unsure as to whether he will have a deal in time for training camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s speculated Cleary (a former Red Wings forward) might sign with the Dallas Stars, as former Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill is now the Stars GM. Another reason cited is Cleary’s buddy Shawn Horcoff is now a member of the Stars. However, the Stars currently have 23 players under contract and only $2.54 million cap space, assuming prospect Valeri Nichushkin makes the team. While Cleary might only take up at most half of that space, the Stars would be forced to move out a forward via trade, waivers or demotion.


  1. Lyle,

    Are there any restrictions on tryout contracts, or are they factored into the cap? If occurred to me that a team might be able to get around the cap by paying a huge amount of money as a “tryout bonus”, and then sign the player for way below market value.

    • The PTO (Professional Try Out) contract is a minor league contract of up to 25 games, but can be terminated earlier. They earn the minimum minor league salary while under this contract.

    • It’s an interesting question. Because I *think* a player can sign two PTO contracts before they have to sign an SPC (Standard Player Contract). To me that means the team would get 50 games played for effectively free, by NHL standards.

      Would Hal Gill play 25 (or 50) games for around $40,500 (pro-rated)? Highly doubtful. So could the team give him a bonus that circumvents the cap, that being the only enticement to get him to play? It’s a good question JDBiGC!

      Anyone have a definitive answer on that?

      • As I noted, it’s a minor league contract limited to 25 games. Once the regular season begins, a player must be under an SPC (a standard NHL contract) to play in the NHL. No bonuses can be paid to any player under a PTO if he’s playing in the AHL during the regular season. There’s no way to circumvent the cap on a PTO. To play in the NHL during the regular season, a player must be under a one- or two-way NHL contract.

        • Thanks, Lyle! I missed the part about the PTO mandating that they must play in the minors. Much appreciated :)

          • My pleasure, glad to help.

  2. Nill said Dallas wasn’t interested in Cleary. Just because a player on the team is friends with Cleary that doesn’t mean the Dallas organization will clear roster space to make room for someone they have said they are not interested in signing. The Wings have said they actually are interested but also need to clear cap space. Seems more likely he would end up back in Detroit based on that. Also, if Cleary will only take up half of the 2.54 million the stars have left to spend, then that would mean Cleary will take less than he is asking. If he were willing to do that, he would have been signed by Detroit a couple months ago.