NHL Rumor Mill – April 5, 2014

Latest on James Reimer, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Smyth and Chad Johnson.

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe wonders if the Jets decide to pursue a goalie this summer (like Toronto’s James Reimer) if they’ll trade or buy out current starter Ondrej Pavelec.  Wiebe also wondered what it would cost the Jets to land Reimer, as well as the cost of signing the pending RFA to a new contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs have nearly $50 million invested in 12 players next season, and with several key players to re-sign or replace, cannot afford to take back too much salary. It could cost the Jets at worst a young player, or a best a draft pick and/or a good prospect. 

Could a coaching change convince Ryan Kesler to stick with the Canucks?

Could a coaching change convince Ryan Kesler to stick with the Canucks?

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma wonders if Canucks center Ryan Kesler might think twice about moving on if the club replaces head coach John Tortorella and changes their system.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s possible, but it depends upon who they hire as Tortorella’s replacement. Even then, that might not be enough to convince Kesler to stay. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Bruce McCurdey wonders if the Oilers will consider re-signing Ryan Smyth for one more season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Oilers could see if they can land better talent first via trade or free agency before sending Smyth a one-year contract offer. At this stage in Smyth’s career, the Oilers could be the only club willing to sign him. 

BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa recently speculated on the future plans of Bruins backup Chad Johnson, who like Anton Khudobin last year could depart via unrestricted free agency.


  1. I could see Nonis using Reimer to move up in the draft. If it’s Winnipeg then currently it would be to move up 8 spots to number 6 over all if it’s the Flames then it would be up 9 shots to number 5 (of curse this is after the lottery draw is all done). Nonis will likely looking at something like this since he has very little room salary cap wise once you figure all players UFA and RFA into the equation.

    • I’m guessing you mean Reimer plus the Leafs first for someone else’s first. I doubt those clubs would be willing to make that move. Scrivens went for a 3rd and Fasth went for a 3rd and a 5th. I’m guessing the Leafs would have to offer up more if they wanted to move up in the first round.

    • Leafs 24/7 common dude get real. Flames are going to give you a top 5 pick for Reimer? Hell they wouldn’t do that for Reimer and your first. Jets will have a top 10 pick and they wouldn’t do Reimer for their first or your first and Reimer for their first. Reimer isn’t an upgrade over Pavelec. I’d overpay Halak before I go after Reimer, who is just an glorified backup.

      Nice try though….

      Damn these Leafs fans hey? There’s over valuing your players and then there’s what a lot of you Leafs fans on here do….

      • Not a Leafs fan, but anyone is an upgrade over Pavelec. You’d almost be better off with the shooter tutor in there.

  2. leaf24/7 give your head a shake reimer is not gonna move the leafs up to the top 10 at best they might be able to get a 2nd rd pick or a prospect with some upside! every team knows that leafs cant bring reimer back even tho he is a rfa Carlyle ruined that! its sad but reimer has shown some potential but the leafs have held him back big time

    • Jello, I dont think its quite as far fetched as it sounds for the leafs to use reimer to move up. Like you mentioned he is an rfa, the leafs will qualify him and given that his salary demands will likely push 3 mill can get at least a second rounder without trading him, possibly even a first and third depending on the contract offer. Now wether or not it would be to either calgary or winnipeg remains to be seen but I dont think reimer, torontos 1st and prospect for one of those picks is entirely out of the question depending on the teams needs and how many parties are interested in him. Either way though if toronto can get a 2nd just from letting someone sign him the trading price will be more than that to start cause they dont have to move him.

  3. A lot of talk suggesting Kesler wanted out of Vancouver. If there’s a new GM in place it could be interesting to see how that takes shape. Kesler is the most valuable trade chip the Canucks have and could really get them some strong pieces to retool with.

    • Well, according to reports they could retool their D with some of Pitts young D prospect, and they are all good ones. I would expect that Vancouver would want a roster player too though. I think, as far as players are concerned, they are going to wait and see what happens to the coach and GM this offseason. If the team still looks to Gillis as the GM then I think we start seeing players asking for deals out, especially Kesler and maybe the Sedins. I’m sure this isn’t what they were envisioning when they signed their latest extensions.

  4. It’s been commented by several many times that Leafs need a stud center, big strong and able to handle centers like Joe Thornton / Getzlaf etc. Leafs also need a top 4 D-man, (who doesn’t) so if they miss the playoff strike fast. Go after Kessler & Elder while everyone else in screwing around in the playoffs.
    Offer Gardiner / Kadri / Matt Finn and Leafs #1, also Reimer if they can get a backup back. May have to
    add another pick or prospect to get it done. Once playoffs are over a lot more teams will be chasing Nucks and driving up the price.

  5. What about a bigger deal that helps trim some salary amd potentially enables them to continue building by packaging Reimer Lupul and Kadri for a guy like Coyle and a first. Just a spitball type idea but with Heatly coming off the books it gives the Wild who would have some space depth instead of throwing a bunch of money at 1 player (Vanek) its a big bump in offense, and a goalie to go with Kemper, they would have the capspace and if they miss the playoffs some changes will need to be made in Minny. From a Leaf point of view gives them a bigger younger guy to play center trims some salary to try and upgrade with a ufa D man and another first round pick.

    • To start, I’m a Sabres fan, but I live in Leafs Nation (indirectly). The idea that the Leafs can make a few quick trades and fix their issues seems a little short sighted.
      From the outside looking in, it appears that the Leafs need a change behind the benchas well as on the ice.
      Carlyle appears to have lost the room and guys are playing for their own pride and not for him. He has called out Reimer and shunned him right when the team needed him to be big. The Leafs suffered. Now they really need him to be big to get into the playoffs.
      I wonder how motivated he will be to play well. He is only playing to impress his next GM, not the one in T.O. Probably not very motivated.
      Let’s see the team went after Reimer, Kadri, Lupul, Grabovski, Scrivens and more to be the scapegoats for loosing. When is this team going to learn to keep all the complaints behind closed doors. Further more when are they going to learn that Carlyle isn’t the right guy behind the bench too.
      This being the second 18 wheeler to head over the cliff says a lot to me about how well he is leading the team.

      • I agree with Carlyle, I also think that this is more of a step for the future than a quick fix. I dont think with or with out the coach Reimer will be staying. Lupul is still a good player but his age dosent mach up with the rest of the core and adding Kadri in to a deal like this, where another young center tho probably not of the same potential point wise bit perhaps a bit better 200 ft game and another draft pick could set them up a lttle better down the road and trimming down some pay roll again allows them to try and address some of the bigger holes in the line up. Its a lot to give up but like you said there really is quite a bit to be adressed there are no quick fixes and the way to start imo is to not blow it up but deffinately look to move some major pieces.

        • I’m starting to think Kadri + ?? might fetch you E Kane. Healthy scratch again tonight.

          • I wonder if this is the player who has fallen out of favor with his coach and GM that Tim Murray referred to several times.
            If it is, the Sabres have a ton to offer.

          • kadri would slot in as the jets third line centre. he’s too one dimensional and i don’t think 3rd line centre in the west fits his abilities. i really don’t think they’d have any interest in him at all. realistically JVR or Bernier maybe, but the leafs aren’t giving up Bernier and JVR is a lateral move. the jets are deep with young defensemen so gardiner/rielly wouldn’t have as much value to them as they would other teams. and you don’t have any other top end elite offensive prospects so i don’t think you’ll be seeing Kane in blue and white any time soon.

  6. I for one would like to see Smyth in the Oiler Jersey for one more season. Even though his more productive years are clearly behind him. I think he would be a valuable team mate and can still do the little things that could help this team become a winner. I have to believe the Oil can finally have a turn around season in 2014-2015. But he’d be the only unrestricted vet I would consider keeping around for next year. As long as he doesn’t price himself out, I think he’d return. If he so wishes to continue on after this season. I would love to see him and the Oil in the playoffs next year. I don’t expect any miracle runs to the cup, but as long as he can help them get back in it. And at that point, I would say it would be about time to call it a career. Don’t get me wrong, I love to see Smyth playing till he was 40 like some other vets, but there is only so much room on a team and at some point you have to realize that age has caught up with you. Still, to bad he never got that cup ring. He surely deserved it with all his hard play.
    As for Riemer to the Jets, that would be interesting to see if the Jets could pull that off. But I doubt they’d be willing to buy out Pavs? And with Bernier now out for the remainder of the season, if Reimer can play solid enough to get the Leafs into the playoffs and beyond the first round, perhaps there could be some question in Leaf land if they should let Reimer depart to greener pastures. It does appear they want Bernier as the #1, but Riemer does have fan support and has shown he can play. So that would be tough one. But if the Leafs can get a offer to good to pass up, they I’d say they ship him out. I think he’s what, unrestricted this year? Or does he have another year left on his contract? Either way, it’ll be an interesting off season for the Leafs. I really had them pegged as the best hope Canada had in bringing the cup home this year. But as of late, it does seem like so. I guess it might be up to the scabbie Habs to bring it home :p