NHL Rumor Mill – April 8, 2014.

The latest on Evander Kane, Thomas Vanek,  Eric Staal, Jason Spezza, Dave Bolland, Cam Ward, Cory Schneider and Brooks Orpik.

Evander Kane is once again a hot topic in the NHL rumor mill.

Evander Kane is once again a hot topic in the NHL rumor mill.

NBC SPORTS:  Jason Brough cited tweets from the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe noting Jets forward Evander Kane declined to comment over his being a healthy scratch and if he wanted to be traded. Brough believes that could add to the Kane trade speculation which has been bubbling for some time.

NHL.COM (via KUKLA’S KORNER):  TSN’s Bob McKenzie believes Kane and Jets management will have to take stock of their respective situations in the off-season. He believes both sides have to decide if they’ll remain committed to each other. Kane is currently in the second season of a six-year, $31.5 million contract. McKenzie feels the Jets have to be careful not to make a trade for which they might not recover from.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman also weighed on the Kane situation, believing the 22-year-old winger is too valuable to give up on. He does acknowledge it doesn’t mean Jets management won’t quietly listen to offers…Friedman has a “nagging feeling” the Nashville Predators could try to sign Thomas Vanek when he hits the UFA market in July…Noting Florida Panthers GM (and former Blackhawks GM) Dale Tallon loves former ‘Hawks, Friedman believes he could pursue Dave Bolland if the Leafs center becomes a free agent this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane is undoubtedly very talented but still lacking maturity. Unless he demands a trade this summer, I think Kane and Jets management will meet in the off-season to discuss their future and resolve any differences. It’ll take a terrific offer to convince GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to move him this summer…If the usually budget-conscious Predators want Vanek, they’ll have to pay big bucks (think at least $7 million per season) to get him. I still believe he’s heading to Minnesota this summer…Speaking of Bolland, see below.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: James Mirtle believes it wouldn’t be a good idea for the Maple Leafs to re-sign Dave Bolland to an expensive, long-term contract. Mirtle feels the Leafs see more in Bolland than what he’s truly capable of, and also noted Bolland has been struggling since returning from a cut ankle tendon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs already made a big mistake signing David Clarkson last summer to a ridiculous, virtually unmovable contract. If they meet Bolland’s salary demands, they’ll have over $10 million tied up in two checking line forwards. That’s not a smart investment, even for a deep-pocketed club like the Leafs and with a steadily-rising salary cap.  Saying that it doesn’t matter because the Leafs can afford to spend and the cap will keep rising won’t make them a better team, nor will it disguise lousy investments. Let Bolland go and invest that money more wisely, like improving their defense and secondary scoring.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Responding to a reader’s question on the availability of Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, Jim Matheson believes Staal could be available but the asking price would be expensive. He believes it would cost the Oilers more than Nail Yakupov and Sam Gagner to get him. Matheson feels Staal looks stale, just like Ottawa’s Jason Spezza. He believes Staal would be a good mentor for Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.  He also thinks the Winnipeg Jets could take a run at Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward if Paul Maurice returns as head coach, though they’ll have to shed Ondrej Pavelec’s contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about Staal going to Edmonton. He’s got a no-trade clause and no reason to join the Oilers. Ditto Jason Spezza. As for Ward, maybe he accepts a trade to the Jets if Maurice is still there, but the Jets will have to trade or buy out Pavelec. I’m guessing they won’t find much of a market for Pavelec via trade even if they agree to pick up half of his remaining contract. They’ll have to go the compliance buyout route. Pavelec is eligible as he signed his recent contract prior to September 15, 2012.

NJ.COM: Randy Miller reports Devils goalie Cory Schneider’s agent said his client will weigh his future with the club when the time is right. Schneider has one year remaining on his current contract and is due to become a UFA next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Devils will re-sign Schneider this summer, completing the transition from the Martin Brodeur era.

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Dave Molinari reports Brooks Orpik’s future remains up in the air. Orpik is slated for UFA status this summer. His agent said he and Penguins GM Ray Shero agreed not to discuss contract talks with the media.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Orpik’s future with the Penguins depends upon his asking price (he’s currently earning $3.75 million per season) fitting within the Penguins cap space ($14.8 million).


  1. I agree Spector. Whether it be by a NTC, NMC, or free agency, I can’t see anyone seriously considering a jump to Edmonton in the near future. Certainly not a Staal or Spezza.

    • Totally agree but I can still pretend that blue moon might show up!

  2. Well isn’t that enticing! Let the fantasy trades begin!
    EDM gets: Spezza, Cowen or Ceci, and Probably one of Stone, Hoffman or Puempel.
    OTT gets: Eberle, 2014 1st

    Ok, hear me out. EDM then trades Gagner to another team for a proven defenseman. EDM gets a good centerman to mentor the kids and Cowen has potential to be a top 4 guy maybe even a number one shut down man on the team (Cowen just had a bad year and he’s young). Or if they choose Ceci, they get a very high potential top 4 young defenseman with offensive upside. Either player would be good for them. They get leadership and potential. After the Gagner trade they end up with a number one center and 2 solid defenseman, who they really need (defenseman I mean). Either of Stone, Hoffman or Puempel could easily turn out to be a top 6 guy too. OTT gets a good second line winger to play with Zibanejad who would tear it up with Stone, Puempel, or Hoffman (whoever they don’t trade). I’d rather keep Puempel to be honest. Then they pick Ekblad who could be inserted next year and play with Methot. That would be a good 2nd pairing. or start them off as the third and see what happens. This won’t happen I know lol. Also because of what Lyle said about Spezza waiving his NT clause to go to a team like EDM. But it’s not an unfair trade for either team. Both gets what they want. And that is the basis of a good trade.

    I think it would be awesome if Vanek went to Nashville. If only they could get a number one center that puts up points along with him. Then they would finally have offense! lol.. I agree that signing Bolland for the Leafs could hurt them more than help and, as stated, one expensive checking line contract is enough lol. Put the money towards a solid top 4 D! It’s what they really need. But as an Ottawa fan, I hope they pay Bolland big bucks lol. I also think they need to get rid of Carlyle and maybe Phaneuf. It’s more that I don’t like him as captain. If they could somehow give it to someone else without upsetting him that would work too. Highly doubt that though lol.

    • We can talk a deal around Spezza … but you ain’t getting no Cowan or Ceci! Spezza, Hoffman, Smith for Eberle & Gordon sounds about right to me :)

    • The Oilers/Senators looks interesting but Edmonton would be taking a huge risk to give up the 2nd or 3rd overall pick and Eberle for a 30+ player with a history of back trouble. Also, Gagner isn’t going to fetch a proven D. His total lack of defensive awareness is well known so his stock has fallen to maybe a 2ns round pick, a prospect or an oft traded journeyman D like Weber or Diaz.

      Evander Kane is from BC so what would it cost the Canucks to get him. I’ll start with their 2014 1st (6-8 overall), Hansen and a prospect Gaunce (20 yrs old, former 1st rnd pick). Seguin, was also considered immature and went for less last year. What would it take for the Oilers to get him?

  3. Let Florida deal with Dave “heart of a Lion” Bolland. His heart, will and identity are not a problem its all the other fragile parts that seem to be an issue. Bolland is not the answer. Chicago seems to be doing alright with out his identity playing on their 3rd line.

    • After some thought no to Orpik too…lol

    • Agreed. Let Florida sign Bolland to 5+ million/year. Then convince them that they need Clarkson to play on his wing.

      • They could call it the worm line (2 big hearts no legs)

        • lol Not bad, Shticky. Not bad at all.

        • :-) LOL

  4. Here is hoping Vanek signs with Montreal in the next 15 minutes so we don’t have to read about it every day for the next 3 months, Isn’t it time to bring back the Bobby Ryan is going to Philly next year as a UFA ?

    • 😀

  5. Leafs need to take a run at E Kane. After letting Seguin slip away to Dallas we now see what he is capable of so lets not let Kane slip away if there is a chance of landing him. It will be expensive but he is signed to a healthy long term deal. Hey maybe they would consider packaging Kane and Big Buff (keep him at forward) for Kessel and Bozak. With Kane, Kadri, Lupul, JVR and Buff you would have a pretty good top two forward line with size, skill and grit. Leafs save about $5M off the cap and it looks like Buff could net 25 to 30 goals as a rough and tough winger.
    To Toronto: Buff, Kane, Winnipeg’s first rounder and Montoya’s rights
    To the Jets: Bozak, Kessel, Reimer and Toronto’s first rounder

    • What does this do exactly? 40 goal guy for a kid a few years younger who will have probably a bigger cap hit when he signs his next deal saves about 1.5 mill next year and Kane wont get 30 plus goals doesnt address D because Buff is a terrible defensive player makes the Leafs even thinner at center (if thats possible) and potentially a worse draft pick considering how things are going for the Leafs I wouldnt be surprised if they dont win another game and the Jets win 2. Just throwing some names in a hat?

    • Really?????
      Reimer and a pick for Montoya and a pick could be fair depending on the picks…
      But the lazy big Buff and the immature Kane for Bozak and Kessel?
      Do you think Kane will be better or as good as Kessel one day? He’s cheaper now but that’s it! And who is replacing Bozak as no.1 or no.2 center?
      Buff playing defense is not the kind of d-man the leafs need! And aquire him to play wing is not necessary! The Leafs don’t need another winger they need one or two top four d-men!
      Gardiner and Rielly have a lot promise but besides that? Gleason was so valuable to a non play-off team with a bad defence that they traded him for Lyles. 4 million is a lot of money for a at best 3rd pairing d-man! Phaneuf would be good on the second pairing playing around 20min a game… Franson is a defensive liability. Gunnarsson is average and not the guy Phaneuf needs to play with (Phaneuf looked really in Cal playing alongside Roman Hamrlik….). Paul Ranger is ok as your 7th d-man on a two-way contract, but maybe guys like Granberg or Holzer or other Marlies could handle the job better?
      Other needs are a forth line with players who are to play hockey! No need for two goons like Orr and McLaren! I would resign Kuli and McClement if the price is ok. McClement to center the 3rd or 4th line and Kuli as 3rd line winger! Let Bolland walk, he’s to injury prone and will be very expensive to resign.
      “After letting Seguin slip away to Dallas…” Do you think they would have had a chance to aquire him instead of Dallas? I don’t believe Boston would do such a trade with the Leafs besides what it would cost to land a player like Seguin!
      And maybe the Leafs would look better with Seguin instead of Kessel, but that ship has sailed….

    • Wow Leafs 24/7 you sure know how to cook these trade scenarios up..

      • Ya, problem is if I didn’t put Kessel’s name in there for Kane everyone would have jumped on any other name inserted saying it wasn’t enough for Kane. I figured I would have a little fun with it.

    • That seems swell in theory but not in actuality. A package to the jets for buff and kane would have to beat individual deals for both. Peg would get a better package for trading them individually than the package above. I almost said a much greater package, but Kessel is top notch. They could beat that offer and retain their own first. maybe take pavolec instead of montoya and throw in a top 5 prospect. I have no horse in this race and it may seem to much to leafs fans but you have to beat the best offer and they would definately beat that

  6. If Tim Leiweke pushed Nonis to make a big, TorontoFC-style splash this off-season — and hears that Eric Staal (your prototypical first-line centre with passionate Ontario roots) may be available from the ready-to-shuffle-the-deck Hurricanes — what do people think it would take?

    My best guess: Gardiner, Kadri, Gauthier, & 2nd rounder. But even I don’t think that’s enough…

    Does anyone here think there’s a package the Leafs could assemble (and which they’d be willing to part with) for Staal? Curious to hear everyone’s thoughts.

    • I would not give Gardiner and Kadri together plus other parts in any deal short of a top notch #1 center or #1 d man and I dont consider Stall that guy, I would do 1 or the other plus some other pieces, but I think its a big huge mistake to be packaging 2 young guys and picks with prospects for 1 player, not to mention the cap implications.

      • How bout Lupul Kadri OR Gardiner and a first let Bolland walk. Leaves centers as Staal Bozak Holland Mcclemment. Caines get a top 10 first a 20 goal top 6 guy and a good young center (another top 10 pick) or a pmd that they need. Any more than that I think is a bit of an overpayment for Staal imo.

    • ooops. I didn’t reply in the right place. But I have a serious question for (Most)Toronto fans. Why are you guys always looking for the next shinny object via free agency or trade? As a Ranger fan that mentality drives me crazy about NY’s fan base. I see Toronto and NY fan base a very similar animals. Both would cough up the future for the past, and both complain like crazy when it doesn’t work out. I hated NY selling off Dubinky Anisimov and Erixon and a 1st for Nash, Or Callahan and a 1st and 2nd rounder for St. Louis. From my experience too many star players is a horrible thing. It starts becoming mixed and matched parts and a whole lot of blame going around.

      • Yep
        Hire a GM that builds thru the draft, hire GOOD scouts, trade aging veterans who won’t resign by trade deadline for draft picks, add a few college hockey free agents each year, ( yes I know they are long shots), keep AHL team stocked with youth and career AHL’s to a minimum. Sign reasonable UFA’s not the expensive one’s whose contact makes it impossible to unload.

        • Well, Gillis is gone I guess that means Torts is safe for now.

          • ooops wrong place again…I must be drunk!

        • Problem is that ship sailed when Burke traded two firsts and a second for Kessel.

  7. The main problem I see with this deal is Toronto absorbing another huge contract at 8.25 per cap hit. Toronto would be getting hit 50+ million on 9 players with a bunch of holes to fill. On the Flip side Carolina would have no true #1 center or one in the near future.

    • Finally someone with a cap brain.

  8. I m not 100% certain but I think Staal has been playing wing alot anyway. Kadri could be that guy if he gets better at draws, I dont think this year is any kind of indication on Kadri, only reason Id consider this is Staals size down the middle is a pretty big up grade for the Leafs, which may be better in the short term, long term I think the Caines get the better part of the deal.

    • I’d have to look long and hard at any deal before I’d give up on Kadri just yet. The lesson of Alex Steen should be foremost in most Leafs’ fans minds. Really, if you think about it, this was Kadri’s first full season in the bigs (can’t count lock-out shortened season of a year ago), and his numbers are respectable for a young second line centre (20 goals and fifty points with three games to go), and then take into consideration some of the offensively challenged wingers he’s been saddled with this year. He’s got some maturing to do, sure, but at one time it was widely believed that a player’s third year was ultimately his make or break season. The Leafs’ farm system isn’t deep enough yet that it can afford to start shedding its young talent. Patience, people, patience.

      • I do agree just kind of throwing ideas off the wall to see what sticks, unfortunately Im not so sure that what Nonis will be feeling is patience. I kinda get the feeling Kadri or Gardiner will be dealt in the off season. Just kind of spit balling ideas that wouldnt make me as upset…lol you are right tho many examples of why they should think long and hard about doing these kinda deals. Steen Rask Coliacivo(sp) my favorite of all time tho and one not many of the haters of the Leafs mention is in 89/90 the Leafs sent their first round pick to NJ for Tom Kurvers finnished 3 rd from the bottom the next year and the trade ened up being Tom Kurvers for Scott Neidermayer…This has been your classic Leaf moment for today lol.

        • You are willing to throw away a young center just beginning his career and makes $2.9M for an aging center making $8.25M. This will be followed by a statement from you complaining about the Leafs lack of depth on defence or 3rd/4th line. You can’t be constantly adding to the Cap and taking away from other positions.

  9. If I were EDM I wouldn’t give much more then Gagner and Yakupov for Staal. Staal hasn’t been the same since being a dominate player in this league awhile back and Hurricanes fans know that. He’s about to have his worst NHL season since his rookie campaign. So I would not shell out much more then that. The Canes also gave up a lot for Jordan Staal so he could come play with his brother so I highly doubt they want to split them up.

    Skinner and Semin are the only “big name” players on that team that I could see getting dealt.

    • ShThink I already cleared this up, but anyway this team needs some size down the middle and a center that posess the puck, not saying I want to trade Kadri I said if they do (which could happen) Id prefer a deal that adresses a need, like a 6’4 60-70 point center who has won a cup and could play on the first line. Contract wise yes he is expensive but with Lupul and Kadri going the other way it sends nearly 8 mill back to the Caines. My issue with the depth and fourth line comes from not using a 4th line not the cost of it. Orr Smithson McClaren are not nhl players andthere is no point in using them or them holding roster spots, could have played Bodie Ashton Devaine Smith D’amigo and guys like that for 10 -12 mins a night and roll 4 lines like most competent nhl coaches do for the same price as the goons. To address the D I think 1 a coaching change will go along way and 2 Id use some of the 22 mill in cap space to not resign guys like Bolland Franson or Raymond and look at a younger defensive dman from a good defensive team like Fayne who might be looking at a little more money than resigning Franson. There is alot needed on this team but, its not all doom and gloom. See if they can hold half of Gleadons contract and dish him off somewhere for nothing in return. Granberg had been good this year and Percy maybe they can take up some bottom pairing minutes and are relatively cheap and probably better than Ranger. They need a big center and a D man (a coach) same as last year, dont need to blow the team up or start over again. If Nonis cant recognize it he should go, Randy should go no matter what.

      • Whoops wrong spot like NyR I must be drunk, that was in reply to beergog…I mean Leafs24/7

  10. Leafs are not going to make a big trade. They have a major structural issues that can’t be fixed with a trade or 2. The Leafs are not a playoffs teams now and won’t be a contender for a while. The Leafs need to focus on the fundamentals through the draft. Burke did a half job rebuilding this team and you can’t win with this sad sac…….