NHL Morning Rumor Mill – Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

Check out the latest on the Oilers (yes, again!), Flyers, Sabres and Panthers.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson, responding to a reader’s e-mail, doubts the Boston Bruins would move Milan Lucic, and doesn’t believe the Oilers could

Don't expect Taylor Hall to be among the Oilers changes this summer.

Don’t expect Taylor Hall to be among the Oilers changes this summer.

pry the first overall pick in this year’s draft away from the Colorado Avalanche. He also dismissed the notion of the Oilers landing Blues winger Chris Stewart by offering up Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky and a prospect.

Matheson also doesn’t expect the Oilers top five young players – Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz – will be moved this summer, though he noted GM Craig MacTavish wasn’t specifically asked about Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber if he were made available in late-July. MacTavish said he’s opened contract talks with center Sam Gagner.  MacTavish didn’t rule out trying to attract pending UFAs like David Clarkson or Viktor Stalberg to Edmonton. He also declined to talk about Ales Hemsky’s future with the club.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boy, Jim Matheson is really, really hoping Weber will be available this summer. Sorry, Jim, but Predators GM David Poile insists he’s rebuilding around Weber and Pekka Rinne, and I see no reason to doubt him. Unless Weber demands a trade (and in a recent interview, he gave no indication he’d do that), I don’t believe the Predators shop him this summer. If MacTavish were crazy enough to offer up Gagner, Hemsky and a prospect for Stewart, the Blues would jump all over that. “MacT” shows no signs of insanity. Though MacTavish will play up the advantages of Edmonton as a hockey town, he’s going to have a tough time attracting top free agents. I’m not saying he can’t do it, but  in several player polls in recent years, Edmonton was not a prime destination for free agents.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio wonders if the Flyers might go the offer sheet route again, this time by pursuing Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having failed to sign away Ryan Kesler from Vancouver and Shea Weber from Nashville, and considering their limited cap space this summer, I doubt the Flyers go the offer sheet route this summer.

MIAMI HERALD: George Richards recently reported Florida Panthers pending UFA center Stephen Weiss could return if the money’s right. “It’s just a matter of the numbers game. It’s a business. Sometimes those things don’t fit and don’t make sense. I understand that. We’ll see what we can do.’’

BUFFALO NEWS:  John Vogl reports Sabres GM Darcy Regier could offer up no insight on the futures of Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek.  Regier didn’t rule out making a trade for amnesty buyout candidates. “You can acquire a player and buy him out if somebody wants to pay you enough to do that, some other currency other than the dollars,” Regier said. “Whether it happens or not, it’s one of the options.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting idea. As Vogl noted, the Sabres could pick up a draft pick or prospect doing that. Other teams might also consider that possibility this summer.


  1. The Oilers have pieces to work with, but Matheson is going a bit on a shooting spree in a fantasy world recently. Yes, expect the Oilers to make moves. No, don’t expect the Oilers to make overhauling moves. I think Hemsky is a definite to be traded, but as for the rest….nothing major.

    If the Flyers actually try to pull that crap on the Blues then Holmgren truly deserves to get his ass kicked next year with both Nashville and St. Louis making offer sheets to Giroux and Couturier to complicate the Flyers’ cap budget.

    Weiss isn’t showing much enthusiasm whenever he offers his take on the current matter. Now with the Panthers having the 2nd overall pick(wow….what a “”””coincidence”””” that Colorado Avs fan Seth Jones got to see his favorite team win the lottery!), and thus most likely taking Nate MacKinnon, a center, it could change contract talks between Weiss and the Panthers. Up and coming centers for the Panthers include Shore, Bjugstad, Trochek, and possibly Grimaldi (expected to be a winger though) and most likely MacKinnon. Tallon has got to take that into consideration with Weiss and length of contract.

    I don’t think money will be as big of an issue. I think Weiss would be pleased with $5M per. The issue will be length of contract. If Weiss stays, he will most likely want a long-term deal that will make him pretty much a Panther for life. Tallon would probably want a mid-term deal that will keep Weiss long enough to be a leading veteran, providing good depth, and providing his best years in his early-mid 30s.

    Weiss has two choices. Be a mercenary and try to sign with a winning team that can win the Cup; the drawback being that he may not become a fit, may not work out, and could be forced to change teams (happens to many UFA players). Or, be a Panther and at least get his jersey retired and be the first one to do so for the franchise. Plus, with Tallon and the wealth of youth….the Panthers could be contenders in the future.

    Tough factors to consider in this situation.

    Regier’s strategy is an interesting one, albeit not entirely professional. You shouldn’t be a serviceable team to the rest of the league. Regier has a major opportunity to trade top notch players in Vanek and Miller, and receive good value. He shouldn’t be solely looking at prospects and draft picks. Go the way that Columbus went and seek NHL ready depth. Quality young players that build your nucleus.

    Should be a fun off-season.

  2. The Blues may have to move one of their top defenceman. Most likely it`ll be Shattenkirk. Him and Peitrangelo are due for big raises. The Blues have 24 mil in cap space and if they resign both those players it would eat up over half. They have an number of restricted free agents to sign as well, Berglund and Stewart. Mcdonald is a unrestricted free agent who may not be back unless he takes a pay cut. If they trade one of their Dman they could fill an offence hole up front. Alot of teams need D.

    • I think Regier’s strategy is based on today – I think his strategy could change after the 1st round. Right now most of the teams in the playoffs are “set” at goalie, so committing to moving Miller would involve a team in the midst of “rebuilding” which is what Miller IS NOT looking for. Yes, I’m sure he wants to be closer to the wife, but then he has to look at a team like Edmonton, Phoenix (who could move east) or the Florida teams. He might as well stay put. Vanek on the other hand can be traded, but I think Darcy would rather have Miller and Vanek in place and then tweak. Speaking of buyouts and trade – hummmm, could we be talking Danny? I think Philly needs help on their D and Buffalo has a good crop.

      • Regier is talking about a team trading him a bad contract that they want bought out, but can’t do it themselves. They also send an incentive such as a draft pick. Not sure how this relates to Briere, if you want him on the Sabres? In this case, Philly would be sending Briere to the Sabres with the intention of buying him out. Once he is bought out, he cannot re-sign with the same team, ie. the Sabres. I don’t think the Sabres, or any other team are interested in Briere with his current contract.

        • I can think of a number of teams that may be interested in Briere and his mammoth sized cap hit. Don’t forget, his cap against the team may be 6.5, but he’s only owed $5 million over the course of the next 2 seasons.

        • I was thinking about this in relation to Philly trading Briere and paying part of his salary and in return either get a player(s) and/or draft picks. I think because Darcy knows there will be a lot of interest in Danny – he might want to get a jump on him and believe me, if Darcy traded for Briere it would not be with a buyout in mind. I just think Darcy is being creative and it opens some doors because the UFA market is going to be light. I think Darcy has looked at various buyout candidates and the scenario for Buffalo to trade draft picks or a couple of their youngsters. You know another thing – I could see Darcy trading Meyers for Briere – anyway – it is an interesting thought.

  3. Spector,

    Quick question… I know teams are allowed to retain a portion of the player’s salary in the transaction. Is that just the cap hit and/or is it real money? If it’s both, then would the original team be off the hook when the new team uses the compliance buyout?

    In other words, Team A trades a player to a cash-strapped Team B with the intent of Team B using a compliance buyout. Because Team B is cash-strapped, Team A agrees to keep some portion of the salary which they would then pay on the buy-out, thus easing the real money burden on Team B.

    • As per CapGeek:

      Teams can retain a percentage of a contract’s remaining cap hit, salary and bonuses in trades. The following stipulations apply:
      No more than 50 per cent of the salary/cap hit can be retained
      Salary/cap hit cannot be retained on more than three contracts in one season
      The aggregate cap hits retained cannot exceed 15 per cent of the upper limit
      A contract can be traded only twice where salary/cap hit is retained

  4. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wild GM Chuck Fletcher laid the groundwork for a Thomas Vanek deal in his last trade for Jason Pominville. The whole world know the Wild need a legitimate scoring threat and Vanek could be that guy.

  5. So basically what Regeir is saying, is that a team can trade a player with a bad contract, along with other assets (picks, prospects, etc.) to Buffalo for little to no return (I love the term “future considerations”), and Buffalo would buy out the contract. So other teams can “pay” Buffalo to buy out their team’s bad contract? Wow.

    • With the wealth of picks we already have, why on earth would Buffalo want to do this? The only place I could see this being worth while is if a team was willing to give up a major asset in trade for the buy out but get little to nothing else. I can’t think of any team that would be wanting to do this.

  6. i think what regier means that he could take a bad contract on pick up a draft pic for his troubles and keep the bad contract to help bolster his roster , there is no bad players only bad contracts . he could always do a buyout the following year. and if he trades miller and vanek he will need to replace their experience and leadership