NHL Rumor Mill – August 15, 2014

An update on Blackhawks prospect Kevin Hayes, plus the latest on the Devils, Bruins and Wild. 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Kuc reports the Kevin Hayes era with the Blackhawks could be over before it begins, as his agent says it’s not likely his client will sign with the club before the deadline of midnight Saturday. If so, Hayes will become an unrestricted free agent. Kuc reports Hayes, 22, spent the past four seasons at Boston College, where he blossomed into one of America’s top college forwards. Agent Robert Murray didn’t rule out the ‘Hawks signing his client if he becomes a UFA. As Murray will only receive an entry-level deal regardless of which club he signs with, money isn’t the issue. Murray claimed it had nothing to do with the Blackhawks trading Kevin’s brother, Jimmy, to the Florida Panthers, but declined to say what the sticking point was.

CALGARY SUN/CALGARY HERALD: Flames GM Brad Treliving declined to comment about speculation he’s interested in signing Hayes, whose Boston College linemates Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold have signed with the Flames.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Treliving might not be able to discuss it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he pursues Hayes in hopes of reuniting him with his college linemates. We’ll find out soon enough if the Flames land him. 

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello squashes rumors of a return of Ilya Kovalchuk.

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello squashes rumors of a return of Ilya Kovalchuk.

NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Devils GM Lou Lamoriello once again squashes rumors about Ilya Kovalchuk returning to the club this season by reminding everyone the earliest the 31-year-old forward ca return is age 35. Chere also reports Devils winger Mattias Tedenby will now play for HV 71 of the Swedish Elite League.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kovalchuk has given no indication he wants to return before finishing his contract with SKA St. Petersburg.  

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty, responding to a reader’s question about which defensemen the Bruins might move this season, speculates David Warsofsky and Adam McQuaid are the likely trade candidates. While they could also move Johnny Boychuk , Haggerty believes GM Peter Chiarelli prefers to re-sign Boychuk. He can see Warsofsky and McQuaid being shipped to teams in need of blueline depth.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher claims he’s happy with the state of his goaltending. Niklas Backstrom (abdominal surgery) and Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis) are both doing well, and Fletcher notes both perform well when healthy. That could eliminate the need to sign a free-agent goalie in case one or both weren’t ready for training camp.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher mentioned Ilya Bryzgalov, who finished last season with the Wild, among the free-agent options. Martin Brodeur was also linked to the Wild, but if Backstrom and Harding are good to go and with Darcy Kuemper also in the system, the Wild won’t have any need for another netminder. 

20 Comments

  1. A solid depth move for the wild would be to trade for a young goalie with a little upside that they could stash in the minors and call up if need be. Players like Markstrom, Lack, Jones, and scrivens types come to mind. Not goalies that are absolutely pegged to be. #1s or stars just a little potential like Reimer had for a time. Otherwise stash an old AHL backup in the minors

    • @Brandon, I am Wild fan and we already have a young goalie with a “little upside” by the name of Darcy Kuemper.

      • But who backs up Kuemper if backstrom and harding are on the IR or if any of them struggle. My thought was 2/3 of the goalies are highly injury prone so some form of depth is required. I agree Kuemper has some potential.

  2. @brandon I must Stash you a question.

    • Horrible…

  3. Vashelevski (sp?), fucale, maybe jones from la. There really are not a lot of goalie prospects out there. Hey will cost a fortune and would most likely be involved in deadline deals. There will be lots of teams clamouring for them. They can have reimer if they like for cheap…..

    • Matty…how do you figure there are not a lot of goalie prospects out there?

      If either Backstrom or Harding r healthy then it should not be that difficult to bring in someone to play backup to either of them via UFA or trade. Kuemper is exempt from waivers according to CapGeek.com so he could be used as a temporary backup without the fear of losing him when both NHLers are healthy. If that route is taken then Gusatsson and Curry should be able to man the net in Iowa. Should the Wild decide to bring someone in I think a goalie prospect would be a poor choice as it could unnecessarily muddy the teams depth chart and send mixed signals to Kuemper who is on track to be an NHL after Backstrom calls it quits. Someone like Budaj could be available thanks to the emergence of Tokarski or Ellis could be had from Florida. So Minnesota is in no danger of not being able to man the crease at the NHL or AHL level.

  4. I thought Hayes didn’t sign with the Hawks because he’d be too far down on their depth chart and not get the playing time he wanted. If that’s true, can’t see why he’d sign there as a UFA.

    (though I may have made that up; I do like to do that!)

    • Hayes grew up a Broons’ fan, so he might sign with the Broons. They certainly have room at RW, although he shoots left and plays the off wing, as do all the other RWs on their current roster. Their only right-shooting forwards are Krejci and Bergeron.

      • I see him in Florida, Calgary, Ottawa, Boston or New Jersey.

        • I can see him signing in Calgary to get back with his linemates from college, Gaudreau and Arnold, they were very successful together, although it appears Arnold is with the “baby” Flames right now.

          • Agreed he will go to the Flames. Best chance to make a team. Familiar with players, probably a little higher end entry level deal….its the Flames.

  5. As a Bruins fan I really think it’s time to maybe let Chara go. A his contract
    B his age
    C he is really starting to slow down come playoff time
    D he was runner up for the Norris so move him while you can. They need to sign younger D like Johnny B

    • He is just such a machine when it comes to fitness and keeping in shape for a big man, it will be interesting to see how much he starts to slow down with his age and the ammount he has played later on in the year. I expect early on maybe the first 2-3 months he will look the same as he always has, but you’re right at some point it’s going to catch up with him.

      • Dump a player who won you a championship. Lame.

        • Jeff
          All teams move players after they helped win a Championship.
          Too many to list.
          Age is the factor.
          He is the core to the Bruins but not sure how many years he has left.

          • As a Bruins fan i know chara is getting older but last year he played alot of minutes that he may not have if seidenberg was healthy.I also think putting him down low on the pp is more of a drain on him.In my opinion Chara will never be traded just because of fan backlash.I can see them cutting his minutes down per game with Hamilton starting to mature ,Seidenberg and Boychuk that gives them alot of defence to help take pressure from Chara.Last season Chara was around 25 to 30 min a game if they can cut that down it would leave him a little more energy.

  6. Forget Kovalchuk, Lou needs to offer up Larsson, Ryder and something (brunner?) to Chicago for Sharp and Leddy.

    • That’s nearly 7 mill in salary going back to the Hawks and them sending 8.5 back so it still leaves the Hawks almost a mill over the cap and with a garbage deal to top it all off…why would the Hawks want Ryder? This makes no sense. They don’t need wingers and they need to make capspace.

  7. Sorry Jeff when your making that kinda money your not dumped your moved. Before the days of the cap world you could afford to keep a aging guy on but not anymore there is only so much you can spend they need to stay young Boychuk I bet is going to get 5 to 6 million a year