NHL Rumor Mill – April 9, 2014.

Will the Capitals trade Alexander Ovechkin? What roster moves could be in store for the Canucks under a new GM? Is Milan Michalek playing his final games with the Senators?

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau doubts the Washington Capitals will move Alexander Ovechkin in the near future. He feels if they tried to move him now they’ll have to accept some bad contracts and/or eat a significant chunk of his remaining contract. He also doesn’t see Ovechkin’s lot improving via trade or buyout.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recently speculated over Ovechkin’s long-term future with the Capitals. Unless he forces the issue, his future remains in Washington. That could change in a few years, however, if the Capitals become mired in mediocrity. 

Could a new Canucks GM shop Kevin Bieksa this summer?

Could a new Canucks GM shop Kevin Bieksa this summer?

SPORTSNET.CA: Mark Spector offered up his analysis of the reasons behind the Canucks firing Mike Gillis as GM, as well as possible roster moves by his successor. He notes the Canucks need help in goal and with secondary scoring, which could mean trading a defenseman. Spector feels “a competent GM” can get a solid return for either Kevin Bieksa or Alexander Edler, provided ownership doesn’t meddle in management decisions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading Bieksa or Elder means they must waive their no-trade clauses. Of the two, Edler has youth on his side but Bieksa carries a shorter, slight more affordable contract. The Red Wings had interest in Edler dating back to last summer, but given the improvement of their young blueliners this season, they might not feel the need to add an expensive puck-moving defenseman.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators winger and pending UFA Milan Michalek would like to return, but isn’t sure if he fits into GM Bryan Murray’s plans.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Michalek is willing to accept a two- or three-year deal for less than his average cap hit ($4.3 million) of his current contract, the Senators will re-sign him. Otherwise, he’ll be playing elsewhere next season. 


  1. Lets just say the draft and Free Agency days this year will be a fun time. Canucks need to clean house. Jets need to mix it up. Sen’s have to re-think the future. Florida gets yet another good position pick, they should be a lot better with the forever feeding at the bottom and early picks over the last 300 years.

    • Canucks do not need to clean house. Retool yes but tearing it all down is a tad overboard. Trade Bieksa and Kesler in the offseason, take a stab at signing players like Halak, Moulson and Vanek. The package they will get for Kesler alone will propel them closer to playoffs IMO.

      • 2 months ago you were saying Hallak was no good now you think the Canucks should sign him? Trade away Beiksa and Kessler and go after Vanek and Moulson? They still need guys who can play in their own end. Im not so sure Torts is going to have much success getting the Sedins and Vanek to block shots. The Canucks need to rebuilt….properly. The western confrence is way too good for a re tool.

        • Offensively Vanek would look great cycling with the Sedins, but it is probably isn’t good cap management to have 21million on your top line.

        • OMG Shticky. I said he was no good for a Blues Stanley Cup run, I didn’t say he was a bad goalie. Halak is good enough to be better then Lack or Markstrom.

          Canucks do not need a rebuild.That’s like saying Toronto needs a rebuild, which they don’t. Do you think Kesler and Bieksa or Edler will go for nothing in return? The package they will receive for both of them will easily put them into playoff contention once again.They still have a pretty solid defense and Sedin’s had an injury riddled campaign so ya they will be good again fast.

          Teams with that kind of depth bounce back quick look at Colorado and Tampa Bay. All it takes is a couple of players. Look at Tampa they subtracted one of their best players in Lecalvier and added Filppula and they went from what 3rd worst in the league to top 3 in their division. Canucks can easily turn it around.

    • Both Bieksa and Edler have stated in public that they will not waive their no trade clauses. Bieksa stated he “was going down with the ship” and the time to move Edler was before last July when his no trade clause became effective. Unfortunately it was another opportunity missed by Gillis.

    • You mean Edmonton?

  2. What the Caps really could use is a highly motivating coach with a .661 winning percentage, like Bruce Boudreau. Oh wait…

    • They can hire Carlyle his keen defensive mind might make Ovi a plus player.

      • Carlyle blows. Caps want to get better not worse.

        • I can’t tell if that is a crack on Carlyle lol

  3. I think the Canucks will end up hiring a GM that will draft players that Torts likes (ie. Feaster, which I said a few weeks ago). Hard nosed, shot blockers, to play his system, and let the Sedins and a couple of others score. That means hanging on to guys like Bieksa and Kesler, unless they want out, which it appears Kesler does. Canucks are in difficult spot as their only big contract that does not include a NTC is David Booth. They will have about 10 million dollars next season to sign 7 roster players. Even if they kept the same 7 that they have now who will be RFA or UFA, and did not give them even a nickel a year more raise (not likely), 5.3 million is eaten up. Not a lot of wiggle room to add better players or even a player. I think it will be a few years of good drafting required and a slow dispersal of the veteran core due to contracts before things look sunny again in Vancouver.

    Alas I am a Leaf fan and we have our own problem to deal with. Next Post!

    • Jay Feaster to Vancouver to reunite with John Tortorella is a realistic option. Both know each other very well as the genenar manager/head coach combination from 2002 to 2008.

      • It may be a realistic option, but I can’t help feel that Feester was a complete tire fire in Calgary. I think Darcy Regier is a better choice than Feester.

        I can see the Nucks trying to grab an assistant GM and give them a shot. Lots of calls into Boston right after the draft I bet.

        • Linden wants a GM in place before the draft. So I doubt Bruins assistant GM Benning will get a shot because the Bruins want all hands on deck for the draft. It’ll be Regier, Fenton or Feaster IMO.

  4. Canucks will sign Ryan Miller in the offseason, I believed that to be the plan when they traded Luongo. Miller stated he wanted to be in the L.A. area closer to his wife, but Anaheim, L.A. and San Jose don’t appear to be in want of goaltending. Vancouver is in the same time zone and division as Anaheim and L.A. so he’ll be in the area often during road trips. Irregardless they will need much more help to be competitive next year

    • No way Miller goes to Vancouver. He doesn’t want to play in Canada. For his 8 destinations he wouldn’t accept a trade to this year 7 of them were Canadian teams. He will stay in St. Louis or to Anaheim. Depending on how Hiller does in the playoffs there is no guarantee he will still be there next season.

  5. I suspect the Canucks would love to move some pieces but it won’t be easy with all of the no trade clauses and the fact that most of the players seem to really want to be there. I suspect a lot of teams would love to have Bieksa or Edler but not sure either will be willing to go.

    Please stop with the Feaster crap. He was fired in Calgary because he’s terrible. They decided no GM was better than that guy. The Canucks definitely don’t need is him saying they don’t need to rebuild and finish in the middle of the pack for a few years like he did with Calgary. Torts was a terrible hire, you don’t compound that huge mistake by building your team around his style or hiring a GM that fits him (I hope).

  6. Completely outrageous trade, but if the Canucks are serious about a retool, why not Ovechkin ($9.5 mill for 7 more years) and assorted parts for the twins ($14 mill for 4 more years). Leonis ends up paying more for a shorter period, but the Sedins are more suited to the style Oates wants, and Ov would put butts in the seats no matter what until the Canucks are competitve again, and they actually save a bit of money….

    As I said….just throwing stuff out there…

    • Laughable…

      To Van
      Ovechkin +

      To Wsh

      Superstar for fading stars. Canucks would have to add more to that package.

  7. When he left Calgary I heard Feester was finished GM-ing . Trevor will choose an ex player. With no Luongo salary how is their cap room so skinny ? Coach’s are hired to be fired and should not buy any green bananas.

    • I heard Shanahan will be the new GM in Vancouver. Both Linden and Shanny worked together for the NHLPA I believe. Lot of people saying Messier too.