NHL Morning Rumor Mill – Sunday, March 3, 2013.

The latest on the Maple Leafs, Flames and Penguins, plus updates on Daniel Briere and Jonathan Bernier.

BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports “rumors persist in Toronto” the Maple Leafs might shop winger Phil Kessel before the trade deadline, as he’s has convinced many up there that he’s neither a leader nor core performer.”

Does Komisarek want out of Toronto?

Does Komisarek want out of Toronto?

SPORTSNET.CA: cited a report by Andy Strickland of TrueHockey.com claiming Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek “gave  a list of 12 teams he’d accept a trade to but I’m told he’d pretty much accept a trade anywhere.” Komisarek has been a healthy scratch since February 2, and has one year at $4.5 million remaining on his contract. Strickland doubts the Leafs would find many takers if they agreed to pick up part of his salary, suggesting Komisarek could become a compliance (amnesty) buyout this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kessel trade rumors have died down over the past month, coinciding with the Maple Leafs winning six of their last ten games, and Kessel collecting 12 points in 15 games in February. As long as the Maple Leafs remain in playoff contention this season, I don’t believe they’ll try to move Kessel.

As for Komisarek, there’s been nothing further about this in the usually Leafs-mad Toronto media, where a player can’t fart without it becoming front page news. Hopefully we’ll find out more about Komisarek’s reported trade request soon, but I’d be shocked if the Leafs could find any takers for him now. He seems bound for a buyout.

CALGARY SUN: Randy Sportak examined the Flames goaltending options within their system if Miikka Kiprusoff moves on via trade this season or next, or free agency next year.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman wondered if the Calgary Flames might soon get an offer which might make them ask Jay Bouwmeester to waive his no-trade clause.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Flames were to move Kiprusoff at the trade deadline, they could also take a dip into this summers’ UFA pool for either a starter or an affordable backup. As for Bouwmeester, well, your guess is as good as theirs. The Flames have stubbornly resisted moving their stars to rebuild. They’ll have to fall well out of the playoff race over the next month before management finally wakes up to reality, and even then, that’s not a certainty.

ESPN.COM: cited Sportsnet’s Brian Lawton suggesting the Nashville Predators or Phoenix Coyotes could be very interested in acquiring Philadelphia Flyers forward Daniel Briere.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Briere doesn’t appear keen to waive his movement clause. As long as he doesn’t feel pressured by Flyers management to accept a trade, I don’t believe it matters which clubs have interest in him. If Briere has a say, he won’t be going anywhere.

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Bucky Gleason suggests the Sabres should check the asking price for LA Kings backup Jonathan Bernier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Gleason observed, the Kings aren’t in any hurry to move Bernier. While the Kings could use some defensive depth, I still believe they’d prefer to keep Bernier around this season should starter Jonathan Quick get hurt or struggle. The Sabres should consider making inquiries this summer, as that’s when I believe the Kings will feel comfortable about moving Bernier.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Dave Molinari reports Penguins GM Ray Shero said he’s got nothing imminent brewing on the trade front. Molinari speculates a top-six winger could end up on Shero’s shopping list, or some veteran muscle for their defense.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I won’t be surprised if Shero does make a move before the trade deadline, but he’s obviously under no rush or pressure to make a move now.


  1. Bernier is going NOWHERE, Quick is already and has been struggling up to this point. Kings can’t afford to trade Bernier, who is playing awesome this year (4w-1l, .931, and 1.64) especially for the crappy D the Sabres have.

    • I’m not sure the Sabres weren’t phoning it in so they could get rid of Ruff?? New coach and the entire mentality of the team turns around 3 games later???

      • the man had 15 YEARS to win a championship, more than enough time … he is the Andy Reid of NHL coaching, one championship appearance in 15 seasons … Ruff should have been canned years ago …

      • Ruff is a real good coach and don’t be surprised if he is working before the season ends – rumor of talks with Columbus and even rumblings of San Jose. Problem with the Sabres is that they did some deals based on some players just having 1 good year – Leino who played well in the playoffs and was a Sabre Slayer prior to becoming a FA. Big contract, totally a disappointment and hasn’t put in the time or effort to justify his salary. Meyers – had a great year, Buffalo rewarded and locked him in, since then he really looks like an amateur – looks dazed, lost and confused. Ehrhoff – Panick FA signing – overated and prone to mistakes. Regehr – isn’t the anchor he was thought to be, Stafford – rewarded with a money contract based on his streaky scoring which since signing the contract has disappeared – what a bust! Pommer -not a true captain in the sense of leadership – more of an Assistant. What Buffalo needs is a leader – someone like Cammalleri, Iginla, Morrow, Brown or Clowe (although I would love to see Pavelski come to Buffalo) and I think someone like Ryan or Dubinsky could provide leadership. Bufflao does have players that I believe GM/Coaches feel in a new environment could contribute to their club right away.

        • I think it is a little bit harsh to put so much blame on Ruff. He has had some really good teams and were always just about ready to make a challenge for the cup. However, ownership was never willing to pony up the bucks to keep free agents thus the team lost guys to free agency. Then again maybe I’m wrong and they left because they couldn’t stand his coaching style. In any event the sabres are entering a new era. It must have been tough for Regier because he and Ruff have known each other since there playing days in junior with the Lethbridge Broncos way back in the 70’s.

        • I find the situation in buffalo kinda weird…alot of these parts you mention look so good then become comfortable and the wheels fell off its like you got stuck with 6 or 7 Kulimens not sure if you guys should blow it up just to see what you can get for some of the peices you have or ride it out and find a coach who can get the team back on track

          • I think what the “high price guys” in Buffalo need is to speed a few days or even weeks in Rochester. They need to “get hungry” again.

    • I completely agree. Bernier is playing solid, and Quick is looking a bit questionable now.

      • I know other Kings fans get mad at me for saying this, but I would love to see Quick traded and keep Bernier for many reasons.
        1. Quicks trade value is higher and may never be as high as it is right now. We could ask for ALOT in return.
        2. Bernier would have a lower cap hit.
        3.Bernier is younger.

        • But is he as good as Quick has been the last couple of years. His numbers are okay this season but they really haven’t been spectacular in the past. The kings would be crazy to take the chance Bernier would be able to take over at this juncture. Quick should also be given the opportunity to get his game back as after-all he did win the kings the cup last year.

          • Right now he is playing better than Quick, its hard to say if he is a better or worse goalie than Quick is as Bernier has never been given a chance. Goalies need to be able to play multiple games to get in a groove and a feel for the puck, how was Bernier suppose to do that in the past few years playing one game every month or two? This year is the first year Bernier has actually gotten multiple starts, and he is playing great look at his numbers, their not just okay. Also you need to think about age, contract and what other holes LA needs to fill going forward. Quick could bring us back a legit top pairing shutdown D for Doughty, as well as a 1st rounder and prospect to help replenish our cupboards.

    • Why do the Sabres need another goaltender when the position is not of concern and you have two caliber goaltenders in Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth?

      The Sabres’ greatest need, six years counting, is a first line center who produces points, scores goals and makes plays. Everyone thought Darcy Regier was going to acquire one this past offseason when Derek Roy was traded to the Stars. Hm, the position continues to exist as a hole. If Cody Hodgson is playing as the aforementioned firsrt line center, then the Sabres will be in business.

      I would like to hear rumors on what the Sabres intend to do with their defensemen and other areas. Several defensemen will be UFAs and can be used as rental players elsewhere.

      • hodgson is performing right up there with the other 1st line centers of the league. what we really need is defensemen that actually play defense. another scorer would also be nice.

        i”d definately give bernier a hard look millers a ufa after next season as is vanek and pominville. i’d only keep vanek out of 3

  2. pens gm shero was shown talking with bergevin, during last nite’s game. I doubt they were discussing ski conditions.habs need to do something with weber, although his youth and speed may be needed. with this shortened season, an injury is right around the corner for just about every team.

    • Shero better wake up and address the lack of toughness and size the Pens are w/o … can we get a hamburger for Tyler Kennedy? It doesn’t even have to have cheese on it …

      • If they don’t have to give up much to get him Morrow from Dallas would be a decent fit I think top 6 guy with some grit…

        • Probably a more affordable and likely option then Iggy…Morrow is a UFA. Dallas and Pit. Have a history Morrow would wave to go on a playoff run and tho I am not a fan of the Pens. I think Shero is a good GM of recognizing and addressing his teams needs with out taking away from his core group.

          • I think the pens already have there top six. What they need is some third and fourth line guys.who are defensively responsible. The leafs will trade you Brown for a bag of pucks and a new net. He plays decent defensively and is as tough as nails but you will have to put up with him taking the odd stupid penalty. The leafs don’t need him as they already have two of the toughest guys in the league in Orr and McLaren.

          • As well as Dupuis does with Sid and Kunitz, adding Morrow would allow them to give Sid a couple of 25 goal scoring wingers and move Duper up to give the Geno and Neal line some defensive responsibility. Probably looking at TK and a D prospect and/or pick for Morrow?? Not trying to overvalue TK just not thinking he is going to have any big chances in Pitt anytime soon and a change of scenery might just do him well. If he gels, he could be resigned pretty reasonable for Dallas with him being an RFA.

          • i wouldnt be surprised if shero goes after both. they have the cap space right now to get both and the picks/prospects. why souldnt they. they can offer a first and a prospect for iggy and a second or third/prospect for morrow. then all their focus would be on an affordable defensemen for depth purposes and bobs your uncle…they are done

  3. The only hope to move Komisarek is to hope a team that is decimated on Defence would pick him up towards the trade deadline the leafs would hold some of his salary then the team dealing for him would only have to pay the prorated amount for the rest of the season minus the % the leafs would be on the hook for and buy him out anyway over the summer….so in other words he is going nowhere, unfortunately…. It is stupid to think that management hasn’t all ready and tried to shop this ridiculous contract…

    • Only 3 options for the Leafs & Komi:

      1. Team loses a dman and has the cap space
      2. Komi gets bought out this Summer
      3. Toronto takes on a salary dump from the other team like they did with Kolzig

      • Well no…they aren’t going to take on more salary when they can buy out Komisarek in the Summer…a team would need to lose a few defenceman and have cap space and the leafs would still have to be on the hook for some of it to get rid of him…and that option would only be for a team that has hopes of going a few rounds in the playoffs and finds themselves needing a vet d-man with nhl playoff experience like I said he is going nowhere unless the sky starts to fall for a couple teams and then it’s still unlikely…

        • Why pick up Komisarek for anything when you will get him for next to nothing even you thought he might someday find his game? You would have to have no choice…

  4. In regards to the Flames, they are already at the stage where they are out of the playoff picture. They are currently 2nd last in the conference, 4th last in the league by only 1 point (otherwise tied for 2nd last). The Flames need to win their next two games to get to 9th or 10th in the Western conference and then what? We have a hard time winning 2 in a row and 3 wins in a row has been almost unheard of for about 4 years. Knowing the problem is the first step and the Flames have been afraid to take this first step for way too long. Sadly, even if we take this step now, trading away our assets won’t bring in enough of a return to right the ship anytime soon. Both the team and the fans have to prepare for a long time of mediocrity and painful hockey.

    • The flames need to consider trading for young assets/draft picks with:

      – Bouwmeester
      – Cammalleri
      – Iginla
      – Kipprusoff

      They need to get into a rebuild now, gather up young prospects, young roster players and draft picks. Then draft properly, and get back into it a little quicker than most rebuilds. The following is a list of teams and players they can afford to give up:

      – Ottawa (Bishop)
      – Toronto (Scrivens, Komisarek, Liles, MacArthur, Kulemin, Grabovski)
      – Florida (Weiss)
      – Washington (Holtby/Neuvirth, Wolski)
      – Islanders (Bailey)

      • I can only see Kipper going to a ‘lesser’ NHL team like Florida or Columbus, where his cap hit is high (5.8mil) but his salary is only 1.5mil next year. Don’t expect more than a second round pick back if it’s one for one, unless for some reason Columbus were feeling generous with one of their 19 first rounders.

        Hopefully this team drops off soon and they take a rebuild serious because my interest in this team is fading fast. The goal of a hockey club should not be to just make the playoffs. They are not the LA Kings, thats for sure. To be honest without Sutter behind the bench I don’t see them as being much of a playoff threat anyway.

        • you will get far more for kipper than a second rounder. i respect what you are saying, but a team like washington who’s goaltending and defense has been erratic needs someone like him. if you add to the pot going from calgary (glenncross etc) i personlly believe you would get forsberg and a first for kipper and glenncross. maybe try and move kipper and tangs to add to their offense. both players fit under their salary cap this year and next year

      • Toronto won’t give up on Scrivens and would have little interest in anything from Calgary..Calgary would not have any interest in any of those contracts from Toronto….Washington just resigned Holtby so he is going nowhere and none of the others you mentioned are prospects or would help the flames in the least…I don’t get it.

  5. some team will take a chance on komi but deadline. we will probably half to pay half his salary for next year or 2 mil. as for kessel.I watch every leaf game (I kNOW lol) he seems to be disinterested out there at times. Don’t get me wrong i know he is a goal scorer but it is absolutely frustrating watching your (supposed) best player, has 5 turnovers and is petrified to go to the net or into the corners. I know people will say well hes a goal scorer well so is jvr, frattin, kadri, and they all drive hard to the net and go into the corners. I would package Kessel now while he still has a year left on his contract. I know he will not fetch you perry but kessel should be able to get us a nice return.

    • I think Kessel has had enough of Toronto and the media to be honest I also think that Gms around the league probably recognize that with all the turnover and change in Toronto plus him being the type of individual he is that Phil’s production this year isn’t necessarily because of him losing his scoring touch or anything like that…I believe that his value now isn’t that much less if any at all from what it has been the past year or so…
      If he was in a not so hockey mad market (say southern California) playing with true number 1 center his production would go thru the roof…I am just using the Ducks as an example not saying he is getting traded for Perry there are a couple other spots it would be the same.
      So yes Kessel will fetch a nice return problem being finding the return Nonis would be interested in (namely the no.1center that The leafs have needed for sometime)

      • Trading Kessel is really a catch 22…unless you are just swapping parts for style of play (big grinding type winger who can score some or a package of a pick and a prospect for a fast and shifty parameter type winger that scores lots) no one would trade their top 1or2 centers for a guy they would need to play with their 1 or 2 top centers…

        • agreed. i like the idea of moving him for perry. i think anaheim does it because it is another american star, which could keep their current ones happier and more willing to stay. i’d rather getzlaf for obvious reasons but i would be happy with perry. i still think a team like minni will jump out of no where and get into the mix. they have the picks/prospects to get him and they cannot score to save their lives. i like the idea of dumba, coyle second for kessel or coyle, first second for him

  6. I really don’t think Kessel will get as great a return (at least for the present) that every one thinks. He’s a one dimensional goal scorer who won’t play in dirty areas. He’s skilled, but also defensively challenged and streaky.

    I highly doubt any team would move a first line center for him. As mentioned earlier, any team that moves a center for him no longer has a center to play with him, putting him in the same spot as the Leafs. Not going to happen.

    Kessel for Perry won’t happen, either. That’d be a massive downgrade for Anaheim. Toronto would need to throw in a 1st rounder and prospect at least and guarantee Perry wants to resign with them for that to happen. Perry is a Cup winner, Richard winner and a two way player with a lot of grit. He’s equal to kessel in offensive skill and far better devensively.

    The return for Kessel would probably be a 1st rounder, a decent prospect and a mid-low level roster player, tops. If Rick Nash is only worth Anisimov, Dubinsky, Erixon and a 1st, and Kovalchuk was worth Oduya, Bergfors, Cormier and a 1st, Kessel is worth far less. Those are guys their new teams believed they could build around. Kessel is not.

  7. Phil Kessel will get traded by apr.3 i dought it will be to the Duck’s for Cory Perry that would be nice but dream on i maybe see him end up as a shark but Kessel is to much of a caddy ass he won,t go in the corners or stand in frout of the night but they will get not a bad return for him,as for Calgary Flames that is just bad MGR.all the way uncle feaster does not know how to make a trade all he does is sigh players that have no chance any place else 30+of age and for there star player he needs to wave his no-trade and move on no cup in cow-town for awhile.

    • Guys keep saying he is one dimensional yes but so are/were lot off other grate goal scorers…Hull Anderson Naslund Gaborik Selannethere are plenty of examples dosent get paid to hit and scrap he gets paid to produce points which he does on a pretty consistent basis if you look at his career so far don’t get me wrong I’m not saying he is going to fetch a kings ransom but if a team is looking for a proven goal scoring fast winger that plays with pace there are few better…

      • As far as Kessel plus a first plus a prospect for Perry a guy who the Ducks will lose as a ufa if they are trading him anyway give your head a shake….

        • You give examples of what Nash would get and then say Pery is worth the guy who list top 3or 4 in goals the past. 4years plus a first rounder and a prospect? Put down the glue bottle…..

          • Let’s not forget he has over 100 goals and 225 pts since 09-10 not many others have more and he is only 25..

    • If the Ducks are in a playoff position they will not trade Perry until after the playoffs. No team in their mind would trade their best player before the playoffs start. They will rather accept picks and prospects after the playoffs if they know they will lose Perry to Free Agency. That goes for Toronto and Kessel as well. As far as trade value goes, Perry is a better two-way player. He would fit in nicely in Toronto and would love to have him, but I think he is easily worth a Kessel, 2’nd rounder, and maybe a prospect. People that think Kessel for Perry straight up is a fair deal are delusional. My prediction is that neither player will be traded until after the playoffs.

  8. Perry is a UFA and most likely won’t resign with the Ducks THEREFORE if they could get Kessel who is signed for another year I’m sure the Ducks would trade Perry straight up without blinking instead of loosing him for nothing or taking picks and prospects back instead of a proven 40 goal scorer. I doubt Toronto does the deal unless they have the frame work in place for a long term deal with Perry.

  9. Agreed BeerGoggles, I posted this yesterday as well. Perry straight up for kessel works for both teams. Perry has said he wants to play close to home, that leaves a few teams that he is really interested in signing for. Its no secret that the top of that list would be Toronto. Sens would have as shot or maybe Boston, but i feel he wants to play in Toronto. Ducks get a pretty good return and the centre that can extract the most out of him. The most I see the leafs offering is Kessel plus brown/steckel.
    I see the leafs being the ones to turn this deal down, not the ducks

  10. Kessel for Perry? Stop drinking that Leaf Kool Aid. It won’t, and it never would happen. Kessel couldn’t carry Perry’s stick bag to the rink or lace his skates.

  11. I love local press. When shero says he has nothing on the horizon is when a trade is close. Shero said not long ago that he would like for them to develop chemistry. I give shero two weeks for something big and a minor move on the deadline.
    Typical Toronto fans over valuing their players. Say kessel has no leader skills or build around potential then next breath say kessel for perry straight up

    • Do some reading…Kessel for a guy who is going to leave the team anyway is a pretty good deal if it was to happen UFAs that are not going to sign for a hometown discount don’t generally fetch big returns…that’s why they get traded the Ducks could take a proven 30 goal guy (which would probably help in the playoffs) or a package of maybe a younger player and a pick from someone else. if they know Perry won’t sign and keep him they get nothing for him and he walks away in the summer. Ether way they would lose Perry. No one is saying if terms and contracts were the same this would be a trade the Ducks would make…

  12. Move the leafs center position around. Juggle the lines and the players. Try Kessel with someone else.

  13. Kessel will remain in the blue and white this season. He plays better when Lupal is on the ice, but would probably perform better with a Sittler type of centre. Sittler scored and could pass and hit, and stood up for his linemates. Kessel is a scorer, one dimensional but dangerous. He is fast and can change the flow of the game with that quick release. Get him a bonified play making tough centerman and he will be a bigger asset. Too bad Lecavalier’s contract is so unreasonabe/ illogical. Too bad Arnott got old, and too bad ‘ol Joe Thorton will retire as a Shark!

  14. Just having a look at the bonified UFA centermen available so far for this year: Elias (NJ), Getzlaf (ANA), Robeiro (WAS), McDonald (STL), Roy (DAL), and Koivu (ANA), Weiss (FLA). I don’t see the Toronto Maple Leafs on any of these players’ radar screens. The list of RFA is not going to help them either. Maybe J.M Lyles packaged with Kulemin could get someone?

  15. Leafs should try for Daniel Briere. I believe he’s coming to the end of his contract with Philly. Gardiner and Kulemin, or Gardiner and Grabovski should do it! How about J.M. Lyles, Colbourne and a pick? The Leafs have Ranger and Morgan in the oven on the heat rack.

  16. Komisarek… if the league was in the market for a defense, there’s a lot of guys that a lot of teams are trying to unload. The NHL is short of buyers 😛

  17. I would like to see BYE BYE AV in Van and bring in Ruff!