NHL Morning Rumor Mill – Wednesday, June 26, 2013.

An update on compliance buyouts, plus the latest on Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Malone, Sergei Bobrovsky, Jarome Iginla, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cullen and more.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the NHL has moved swiftly to close off a potential loophole in the new CBA, ” notifying general managers the league would deem re-signing a player following a trade and a subsequent amnesty buyout as circumvention, and thus would not register the contract”. Brooks claims it’s believed the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs discussed such a move regarding Vincent Lecavalier. The contract buyout period begins tonight at 11 PM ET and runs to 5 pm ET on July 4.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Consider that potential loophole closed.

Lightning could consider buying out Vincent Lecavalier.

Lightning could consider buying out Vincent Lecavalier.

TAMPABAY.COM/TBO.COM: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman won’t say if he’s considering compliance buyouts for Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone, but Lecavalier’s agent acknowledged it was a possibility.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Buying out the duo, especially Lecavalier, wouldn’t be a popular move with Lightning fans, but unless Yzerman can free up salary cap space elsewhere, he doesn’t have much choice. The Bolts currently have just over $2.4 million in cap space, and while they will get some cap relief by keeping Mattias Ohlund on LTIR next season, that won’t leave sufficient cap space to bolster the lineup. 

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets RFA goalie Sergei Bobrovsky faces a tough decision: does he take a big money, short-term offer (believed worth $10 million per season) from KHL team SKA St. Petersburg, or re-sign with the Blue Jackets for less money but with more financial security and the opportunity to play in the best professional league?  It’s also rumored the Blue Jackets have sought permission from the Calgary Flames to speak with Miikka Kiprusoff.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of jockeying going on here. I think the Bobrovsky camp is using the KHL offer as leverage to squeeze the Blue Jackets into paying more, while the Jackets could be trying to scare them into agreeing to less by making it known through the media they’re willing to consider other options. The KHL, meanwhile, really wants to sign Bobrovsky, the NHL’s reigning Vezina Trophy winner.  That would be a significant coup, proving they can lure the best Russian talent away from the NHL, which they’ve been unsuccessful in doing so far. I also believe if Bobrovsky was serious about playing in the KHL, he would’ve signed with St. Petersburg by now. As he’s a restricted free agent, this could take some time to resolve.

CALGARY HERALD: Former Flames captain Jarome Iginla intends to test the UFA market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla won’t have any trouble attracting suitors, but given the decline in his performance this season, probably won’t attract a lengthy, significantly lucrative offer. I expect he’ll get a two-or three-year deal for around $5 million per. Still very good, but nothing close to what he’s been making in recent years.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi reports contract negotiations between the Penguins and pending UFAs Pascal Dupuis and Matt Cooke are advancing, but contract talks with Kris Letang (as of Tuesday) had not resumed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The latter will only stoke expectations Letang will be shopped this weekend at the draft.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild will have to free up cap space if they hope to re-sign pending UFA center Matt Cullen, who could command $3 million per season on the open market.

CSNWASHINGTON: Chuck Gormley reports the Washington Capitals are mulling over their compliance buyout options. Candidates could include Jeff Schultz, Joel Ward, Brooks Laich or Martin Erat.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The Nashville Predators haven’t ruled out shopping forward Matt Halischuk and defenseman Jonathan Blum.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, whose club holds the 13th overall pick in the upcoming draft, is willing to move up or down in the draft order, depending on the offer.


  1. The Nashville Predators haven’t ruled out shopping forward Matt Halischuk and defenseman Jonathan Blum.

    For what, a bag of pucks? And Shero needs to let Cooke walk … and Iginla … and Morrow … and Murray … and Kennedy … and Adams …

    • Let Adams walk?He was one of the teams best penalty killers – and should sign on the cheap. Love him or hate him Cooke can also play an important role with the team (much like a Darius Kasparitis) – if he comes in under 3 million, he is more than worth it.
      Murray wasn’t the answer, but was the short term solution until the youth makes the jump. He won’t be back. Morrow was solid, but not flashy. I consider his issues similar to James Neal a couple years back when all you people were whining about trading him or he sucks, etc. only to become a top end power forward. Morrow’s biggest issues are his injury risk.
      Iggy would be better in Pittsburgh with another year as the chemistry gets worked out but should only be back for the right price.
      Hate to say it, but trading Letang is probably the smartest option. Guys like Despres or Maata are ready to hit primetime and this sort of trade helps keep the circle of replenishment going in the farm system, similar to what Detroit has been able to do for years through drafting and player development. These guys aren’t replacing Letang, but that is the reality of the cap era and keeping a perennial contender through identifying your franchise players and moving good or great players when they become too expensive.

  2. Iginla to Montreal? Them Lightning are in a pickle!

    And what’s Nashville hoping to get with Halischuk, a third liner on a team full of third liners and soon to be Sasha Barkov? NJ will take him back for Mattias Tedenby.

    • Iggy to Montreal could be a nice fit:

      A) they effectively replace Ryder’s salary with Iginla’s, which is a big win
      B) they get some great leadership & a big winger they crave
      C) Iginla joins a good team that *may* still provide him with a Cup run in 2-3 years

      Of course, lots of other teams (LAK?) can make offers on Iginla, too, which he might prefer. But from Habs’ management standpoint, Iggy’s a good fit – provided they don’t overpay him and blow up their salary structure.

      • I doubt the Kings will land Iggy, they just don’t have the cap space to do it, unless Iggy takes a huge discount.

  3. It would be nice to see what Yzerman can do with some cap space and maybe improve his team. He really has not done much since he’s got there, IMO.

    • He has to free up cap space to be able to do anything. Other GM’s not willing to trade for bad contracts and owners not willing to buy them out have put him in a holding pattern

  4. Has anyone heard anything from Gillis about buying out Luongo? Everyone rumors he will be but I have never read / heard and thing from Gillis.

    • Gillis is showing his big ego here. He should have traded him last year. The Panthers made an offer, they were negotiating, and Gillis decided to want more. He was BSing everyone that he had a few teams ready to acquire Luongo.

      The guy will either need to take 25% of Luongo’s salary, or buy him out. Panthers could still be an option, but Markstrom shows good promise to be a starter. Tough decision. It would have to be a lopsided deal in favor of the Panthers in that scenario.

      • I hope Gillis learns something from this whole luo issue but I don’t think he will. He was handed a really good team and other than getting a few deman, he really has not done anything positive.

  5. The Blue Jackets should not get caught up in a bidding war. The last thing you want is an immovable contract on the books.

    “That would be a significant coup, proving they can lure the best Russian talent away from the NHL…” How many times have they tried to lure NHL players away and how many times has it been successful?

    If Bobrovsky wants to know about playing in the KHL, he should ask Pavol Demitra’s next of kin.

  6. Lecavalier is regressing to a 3rd liner. It may be unpopular, but if it helps the Bolts get cap space, sign a useful player or two, and make the playoffs? It’ll work out. Playoffs are more popular than players.

    • I posted this in yesterday’s rumors but thought I’d repost to get more attention lol
      If leafs take on lecevaliers contract and gt some assets in return say trays 2nd and say Connolly for Liles and holzer or Ashton. Leafs would only be adding approx 4 mill in salary in which with all the talk of signing either Weiss or bozak at 4-5 per I’d much rather have a year of vinny and possibly buy him out next year. He still has value as a player be helpful with young players like Kadri and colborne. If he gets bought out he can’t return to Tampa anyway so might as well get a year out of him which I think has value

      • The NHL sent a letter out to all 30 teams, warning them they cannot have another team buyout a player, and have them re-sign back to that team. Meaning, Toronto cannot trade for Vinny +, then buy him out, and have Tampa sign him. They were/are warned that this is circumventing the CBA.

        • Yes I know that I’m saying thhey trade for vinny and keep him. That’s why I said vinnys salary minus liles would be the same if not less then you would sign filpulla,weiss, bozak.

          • Vinnys salary goes on forever tho and outweighs what he is worth now in three more years it will be even worse Vinny need to be bought out, 33 and his best years are long gone…

  7. Lyle,

    Can you help clarify this?

    Bob Mackenzie just tweeted: Compliance buyout period technically begins at 11 p.m. ET tonight – 48 hrs after Cup final – but buyouts cannot proceed w/o waivers first.

    Does that mean the players being bought out are put on waivers first, and if so how long till they “clear waivers” and then get bought out? Also does the team that put the player on waivers pick up half the salary if another team claims them, and does it count against the waiving teams cap?

    Would seem like the better solution for some teams and certain players.


    • Yes, that’s correct, just like every buyout in previous years, they have to clear waivers first. Merely a formality, of course.

      • Also, there’s no more “picking up half” of a salary anymore. You’re thinking of the old rule for re-entry waivers, which no longer exists. If a team claims a player on waivers, they pick up the entire salary. That’s why I say it’s merely a formality.

    • If this is the case why would any team pick someone up off waivers if they new that was probably leading up to the player being bought out? Alot of these guys will be signed easier if bought out, with way less term. Roberto for example is still not a great deal at 2.5 for the next 7 years, but for 3 mill for 3 years there would be a lineup of teams I can’t see there being too many teams picking guys off waivers this time of year anyway especially knowing they might be able to sign them even cheaper if they wait a day. Just a formality I guess.

      • Oops 4 minutes late…slow typed lol

  8. I suppose the advantage in picking up a potential buyout player on waivers is that if the player is bought out, he becomes a UFA and can negotiate or be a target of many teams. If someone was really interested in a player and wanted to avoid competing with other teams, and not give up any of their own players picks or prospects to trade for him, that would be an advantage. This would be OK if term or salary were not exorbitant. For example getting a Grabovski or Liles versus a Luongo or Lecavalier. Someone might not trade assets for Grabo, but if he was being potentially bought out might claim him off waivers to avoid competing with another team once he became a UFA. If I understand this all correctly.

    • This would be a long shot but you know you could potentially put all the contracts that you may consider buying out on waivers just to see if someone may take one especially like you mention in the case of the leafs or other teams that have 2 or more or if a team have found that a player just dosent fit in their future plans any longer… like Lyles Grabo Komisarek and maybe someone would take a chance on players like Komi who only have 1 year left on their deal. It may lead to some teams clearing just enough space to avoid a buyout

      • Yeah, to shorten what Murph was saying…When a player is placed on waivers to be boughtout, a team can pick up his contract to avoid that player becoming a UFA. Which is correct, any team can do this, and could…again like Murph elaborated about…avoid any trades of their prospects, players and/or picks.

        Example, Vancouver places Luongo on waivers to buy him out, Edmonton claims Luongo off waivers. This would avoid them giving anything to Vancouver. But the other side of the coin, the team that picks that person off waivers, deals with that contract he was/is accociated with (price and contract length/term) and Vacouver is totally free of any involvement with Luongo.

  9. I truly hope they Trade MAF to make room for some of the forwards. $5 mil for him is just taking up space when he no longer a Elite goalie! buy him out or Trade him. keep a couple of our Forwards and Letang!

    • You sir are an idiot! MAF isnt elite anymore but who are you gonna get?? MAF has youth and talent. He just lacks the brains. It is time for Letang to go. Remember when the Pens had Paul Coffey. Very similar player. Good Offensive and not good on defense. Coffey is a much better player than Letang. Our minors are stocked with D-Men time to move on. I think we will be suprised by the trade value we will get for him. The pens need to retool the team and get some better defense.

  10. I think its time for Pittsburgh to move on from Letang and a way I think a deal can get done is with a 3 team trade and it would look like….

    Toronto – Kris Letang
    Pittsburgh – Kumelin, Florida 1st
    Florida – Toronto 1st, Gardiner, Dion Phanuef

    Toronto gets Letang which is something both sides want and an extension could be signed, by moving Phanuef it frees up the space to make it happen, Florida obviously would not be a place Letang wants to go, they keep a first round pick courtesy of Toronto and get the remainder of Phanuef’s contract and Pittsburgh gets a high first round pick (Seth Jones). There might have to be a prospect that goes to Pittsburgh as well from Florida.