NHL Morning Rumor Mill – Tuesday, April 9, 2013.

Updates on the contract negotiations of Valtteri Filppula, Mike Smith, David Clarkson, and a look at possible off-season moves by the Flyers.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reported last Thursday Valtteri Filppula confirmed there’s been no contract talks between his agent and the Detroit Red Wings. The two sides spoke earlier in the season and reportedly remain far apart on a deal. Filppula claims it hasn’t been a distraction to his play.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Filppula’s earning $3.5 million this season and it’s rumored he’s seeking over $5 million per season. The Wings have just over $48.121 million invested in 18 players next season, and must re-sign other key players like Jimmy Howard and Damien Brunner. Given the young players starting to filter into the Wings roster, Filppula could end up a UFA this summer unless he lowers his asking price.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Sarah McLellan reports goaltender Mike Smith, a pending UFA this summer, remains hopeful of reaching a new deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much could depend on the club’s ownership situation, and if the team will remain in Arizona beyond this season. Smith could attract considerable interest in this summer’s free agent market.

Could the Devils lose David Clarkson to free agency?

Could the Devils lose David Clarkson to free agency?

NJ.COM: Rich Chere is concerned the Devils policy of not negotiating contract extensions with their pending UFAs during the season might result in the departure of David Clarkson and Patrik Elias.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: GM Lou Lamoriello evidently learned nothing from losing Zach Parise last summer to free agency, rather than pushing to re-sign him during last season. I would’t dismiss the possibility of his re-signing Clarkson and Elias (especially the latter), but he’s making it tougher to do so by not talking contract now.

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi suggests the Flyers acquisition (and re-signing yesterday) of goalie Steve Mason could signal the end of Ilya Bryzgalov’s tenure with the club, making Bryzgalov a candidate for an amnesty buyout this summer.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson speculates the Flyers could revisit their interest in Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber in the off-season. The Flyers unsuccessfully attempted to sign Weber away with a lucrative offer sheet. The Predators matched the offer on July 24th, and if they wish to trade him, they cannot do so until one calendar year from the date they matched the offer.

COURIER-POST:  Dave Isaac doubts the Flyers will revisit their interest in Weber, suggesting instead Phoenix’s Keith Yandle could be a better trade target, or free agents like Mark Streit, Sergei Gonchar or Ron Hainsey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Isaac. The Predators have too much invested in Weber now to give him up, and there could be more affordable options available this summer. Yandle, however, won’t come cheap, as it’s rumored the Coyotes wanted two scoring forwards in return. They might be willing to bend for a package including Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn, but I don’t see them willing to take back Daniel Briere, nor do I believe he’d accept a trade. As for Bryzgalov and an amnesty buyout, I wouldn’t rule it out, as it would give the Flyers some much-needed cap relief in the off-season.


  1. The Flyers much needed cap relief will come by Danny Briere’s contract. It will cost the Flyers roughly 3.5 million to buy him out (assuming it’s still 2/3 of the contract) and they get 6.5 million in cap room. Pronger will likely be on IR and that’s an additional 5 million.

    • The buy out of Briere and Pronger does clear alot of cap which is good news if the Flyers ownership and management finaly realize they have depth issues particularly Defense and stop throwing huge contracts at 1 or 2 guys thinking that they are the answer and start spreading things out a bit. It won’t do them any good to take 2 off the books and replace it with a bigger one like replacing Richards and Carter with Bryzgalov….

      • Assuming the do buy out Briere, Pronger for sure goes LTIR if they add Bryz to the buyouts they got loads of room…

        • Agreed. Gives them approx. 16 million, 10 which would fall under the new cap ceiling. But if they buy out Bryzer I would think they would have a plan to get a goalie to replace him with. Mentioned below is Miller which isn’t a terribly bad idea but it isn’t the best. Who knows, maybe Mason is the diamond in the rough.

  2. I must admit I do not watch a lot of flyers games being a leaf fan lol, but when brier plays against Toronto he’s always one of there most dangerous players to play against, would he be worth using a buyout on?? David Clarkson Please do not resign with the Devils, and sign with the leafs!!!!! If he goes to July 1st which i do not think he will, if I were Nonis, I would back up to money truck to his front door. 4-4.5 maybe 5 mil for 5 seasons, this guy is exactly what Toronto needs. Could buy out grabo and use the money on Clarkson. I like grabo but his contract is pretty bad, and now that Carlyle has him playing more of a 3rd line center roll, 5.5 mil seems a bit to much.

    • Grabo’s contract is worse than pretty bad it’s horrible…

  3. Clarkson is overrated.

    Briere can be traded. I think he holds trade value enough not to buy him out.

    Bryzgalov must be bought out. Ducking on a shot that hit the back of the net shouldn’t make him play any other game for the rest of the season. That was downright embarrassing.

    • Brier will not lift his no trade clause that’s why i think Puckhead brought up the buyout.
      I watch a fair bit of Devils games and Clarkson is exactly what Toronto needs.

      I don’t know whats happened to bryz he use to be a shutdown guy, but then again he played for more of a defensive style coach. not saying its coaches fault because he has been just awful.

  4. If Bryz is bought out that opens the doors on a Ryan Miller to Flyers trade rumors. Buffalo would not take a salary dump back. Miller would likely cost Philadelphia their #1 in 2013.

    • Ok, Hold on.
      Miller to Philly??? For a first?? And what else??
      Pommenville went for a 1st and 2nd and two players. I hope you were only meaning that the first would be gone as well as a boat load of other guys.
      Not to mention the price goes up because Philly is in the same division.
      I can’t see this happening at all. Sorry.

      • As a Flyers fan I want nothing to do with Ryan Miller.
        I think most Buffalo fans would agree he’s been an average to mid-average tender at best the last few years and isn’t getting any younger. It would be too steep of a price to pay when a FA option might be available.

        I’m all for a Bryz buyout.
        This season hasn’t been his fault as the whole team has struggled. That being said, we are paying him to be an all world goalie… He’s just not that guy. At this point I don’t believe Miller is that answer either.

  5. After putting Nashville in a jackpot like they did with the offer sheet last year, I think David Poile would rather cut off his arm than make a Weber trade with Philadelphia. Nashville has a franchise player, and whether you draft one, sign one, or have one almost forced on you via an offer sheet situation, they are hard to get. Keep him.

  6. With the cap going down for next season this is a bad offseason for UFA’s. So I believe that it would be Valtteri Filppula’s best interest to sign what the Red Wings offer.

    • Not sure how Chicago will be sitting with next years cap but you have to think Filppula would look pretty good between Kane and Sharp in Chicago.

  7. I don’t think Miller would go to Philly. Not because Philly’s bad, but it seems they ave the same issues on the back end that Buffalo has. I think Miller would like a team that plays a more defensive style. Plus, would Philly want to take on his contract? If Miller is traded I see it going to a Western conference team. Maybe Colorado or Calgary if Kipper indeed does retire like he has mentioned. Maybe Gigg and Stastny for Miller +, or Calgary’s 1st and a prospect for Miller.

  8. Wouldn’t it be wacky and wild if the Flyers try harder to DRAFT a good goalie instead of padding old men’s pockets?