NHL Morning Rumor Mill – Thursday, August 15, 2013.

Latest on Teemu Selanne, Damien Brunner and Tim Connolly, plus a look at possible Flames trade candidates.

SI.COM: Allan Muir cited a report claiming Teemu Selanne met with Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray last week to discuss his possible role with the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Selanne’s age (43) and concerns over his stamina over an 82-game schedule, the Ducks could want him to play fewer even-strength minutes, using him more in power-play situations. At least he and the Ducks are talking, so the priority for Selanne remains playing in Anaheim.

Could Mike Cammalleri become trade bait this season?

Could Mike Cammalleri become trade bait this season?

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: James O’Brien lists Mike Cammalleri, Dennis Wideman, Lee Stempniak, Jiri Hudler, Mikael Backlund and recently acquired Shane O’Brien and David Jones as several Flames who could become trade bait this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The expensive contracts of Cammalleri and Wideman will make them tough to move, though the former could attract interest by the trade deadline, when most of his salary has been paid out by the Flames. Hudler could also garner interest if the Flames decide to put him on the trade block. I don’t anticipate any significant trade activity on the Flames part until at least mid-season.

KUKLA’S KORNER: George Malik cites a report out of Switzerland regarding an interview with UFA winger Damien Brunner’s agent Neil Sheehy, in which Sheehy acknowledged he and his client remain patient in their quest to sign with an NHL team for the upcoming season. Sheehy denied his client’s asking price (believed to be over $3 million per season) was the reason he’d yet to be signed. The article’s author speculates Colorado, Anaheim, Phoenix, Dallas or Buffalo could be destination for Brunner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche are top-heavy at forward and need blueliners, so I’d rule them out. Ditto the Ducks if Teemu Selanne returns with them. Phoenix, Buffalo and perhaps Dallas could use Brunner as they’re thin at left wing, though he might have to lower his asking price.

SYRACUSE POST-STANDARD: Lindsay Kramer reports UFA forward Tim Connolly remains focused on signing with an NHL team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Connolly could be an affordable, short-term option for clubs seeking some skill at center.


  1. LOL re: Connolly. The guy is not a character player at all. He got sent to the minors and couldn’t even contribute in the AHL. This definitely isn’t a guy I’d want pushing for roster spots on my team.

    • agree to agree

      • Game over for Connelly. Burke gave him a chance including an absurd 2 year 9 million deal and he blew it.

        No team will touch this guy…over seas you go Tim.

    • Agreed, I’m very surprised to actually see this news, he sucked in the NHL, he was almost just as bad in the minors.
      The Leafs were desperate for a quality C man and still kept him with the Marlies, that should speak volumes in itself.

      • Connolly was the worst mistake made by Burkie and thats saying something cause he did make a couple doozies (Komisarek Wilson Grabovski). For all the good Burke did signing Connolly to that deal was the equivalent of some of the moves made by JFJ.

        • Before that he was the worst mistake by Regier too.

  2. Brunner is dillusional, and his his agent is being irresponsible.

    • I don’t get these agents that are pushing unreasonable deals on clubs. Sure the player may get more in the short term but with the cap constraints they can make a player untradeable and stuck on a team that will end up sitting them.

      Greedy and short sighted.

  3. Connolly? He burnt his bridge in Toronto – if not prior. Right off the bat people doubted Burke/Nonis for signing “Tiny Tim” (beacuse they couldn’t land Richards, etc). He was even benched with the Marlies. The “skill” is there. Not the desire. Bad signing. Bad player.

    • I always wondered why Burke signed Connolly, even giving him a raise, after seeing his performance, lack thereof in Buffalo. While there is a lot of criticism of Regier and his signings – Ehroff and Leino, Burke/Nonis have done their fair share of bad contracts. Yes, while Connolly shows glimpses of what could be, he just doesn’t have the heart. He’s made great money over the years, so he could possibly get a chance on a team that needs some depth if he is priced resonably.

  4. I would also throw in New Jersey as a possible new home for Brunner, that is of course after the team’s sale is announced today and once he realizes he’s not a super-star and lowers his asking price.

  5. Memo To Bob Murray:
    Give Teemu until Sept 1 to make up his mind. If he retires offer Brunner @ 3.0 MIl a year for 2 years only.
    Most likely he will say no but at this stage ya never know, maybe add some type of bonus clause if he scores 25-30 goals a year. If Teemu returns then (A) give Ducks the rights to trade him at trade deadline to one of 10 teams of his choice if Ducks are not in race (B) Make this the LAST year for Teemu in Anaheim.
    Enough of this stuff, this has gone on now just about every year since 2007 – time to move on and let the young players take over.

    • Disagree big time, Teemu @ 43 is still putting on clinics out there. At his age he should be done but he’s playing better than a lot of other younger “stars” out there (and at a discount!).
      The Ducks would be insane to refuse him if he still wants to play for them.

      • Ducks are loaded with young forward prospects. Time to move on and give them a chance. Teemu is a great crowd draw and had a hell of a career but it’s time to move on. Can’t play forever and can’t keep tying up assets each summer waiting for a decision.

        • Sad but true I agree. This isnt becoming a distraction but has to be a bit of a nuisance, going into every summer waiting on if a player is coming back not knowing if your youth has a position if you have room to sign a UFA to fill another hole etc. The Ducks have been fair and loyal with a great player but they really need to decide which direction they are going and stick to it. As great a player as Teemu has been you cant keep your team from progressing with a plan every year and have the same questions affecting the team from Jan. thru Sept. Just to show loyalty to 1 individual. Eventually you must move on for the good of the development of your group.

          • You guys are crazy. I’m sure if the Ducks told Teemu to take a hike, there would be 29 other teams lined up to add him to their roster.

          • Im sure there would be some teams interested just like there is always for Jagar, Im not saying they cant play. Im saying you cant put your teams plans on hold for months at a time every year while you are waiting on a decision from 1 player. Sometimes you just have to move on.

          • I’m sure if the Ducks had anyone better, then they would play him.

          • Afroducks said it, Selanne is a crowd draw and as everyone has agreed, he can still play. As a business. Teemu has a spot on the Ducks as long as those two things are true regardless of other issues brought up.

        • I don’t think it’s that hard for the Ducks to manage this. It’s easier to plan for him being on the team and then filling that gap with the youth you’re praising if he doesn’t.

          • 4million or so you have to keep on reserve in case he decides to come back, he never makes his decision till after all the decent UFAs have signed, seems like a bit of a nuisance to me, what if he said Ok I retire you just missed out on signing someone you might have otherwise signed if you knew prior he wasn’t returning.

    • Detroit

  6. What’s with these rumors about the Avalanche interested in Brunner? They should be concentrating on that god awful defense of there’s.

  7. Teemu at 43 is still a better player than 3/4 of the NHL