NHL Rumor Mill – August 28, 2014

The latest on Daniel Alfredsson, Mikhail Grabovski,Jaden Schwartz, Jordin Tootoo, Ryan Malone, Dustin Penner and more.

Could the Islanders use Mikhail Grabovski as trade bait for a top-4 defenseman?

Could the Islanders use Mikhail Grabovski as trade bait for a top-4 defenseman?

ESPN.COM: Katie Strang, in a live chat with her readers, expressed surprise Martin Brodeur hasn’t been signed yet but believes it makes sense for him to wait for the right fit…She expects the Blackhawks could move either Johnny Oduya or Niklas Hjalmarsson to become salary-cap compliant. Oduya’s modified no-trade clause could complicate things, making Nick Leddy a possible trade candidate…She suggests recently-added Islanders Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin (who lack no-trade clauses) could be used as assets by GM Garth Snow to add a top-four defenseman…Marc-Andre Fleury’s performance this season could determine his future with the Penguins…There might be some interest from the Rangers in Ryan Malone but he hasn’t received a training-camp invite from them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the reason Brodeur hasn’t been signed is there’s currently no interest in him…Hjalmarsson also has a modified no-trade clause. Leddy could be a more likely candidate…I don’t see the Islanders moving Grabovski or Kulemin. Maybe as the season progresses they might consider it to address the need for a top-four defenseman, but there’s other younger assets they could move…Fleury’s got something to prove this season, and as it’s a contract year I’m expecting a strong performance from him…Malone could receive an invitation to a training camp but it remains to be seen if it’ll be with the Rangers. 

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford cites the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporting there’s currently nothing new regarding contract talks between the Blues and RFA forward Jaden Schwartz. Halford notes Blues management has a history of playing hardball with their restricted free agents. GM Doug Armstrong hopes to have Schwartz under contract before training camp.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports not to expect the Nashville Predators to bring back winger Jordin Tootoo.

COURIER-POST: Dave Isaac reports the Philadelphia Flyers aren’t expected to make training camp invitations to Dustin Penner and Ryan Malone. GM Ron Hextall, when asked specifically about the Penner rumor, said he hadn’t heard that.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hate to say I told you so….

DETROIT FREE PRESS: George Sipple reports Red Wings GM Ken Holland said he hasn’t spoken with Daniel Alfredsson in about a month but claims the veteran winger is training hard. Holland said Alfredsson wants to return to the Wings but only if he can contribute.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for that rumor of the Wings and Alfredsson being close in talks on a new contract. 


  1. Hextall was the Assistant GM with the Kings when they won the first cup in 2012, and Penner was on that team. Hextall already knows what he’s getting in Penner. I suspect the fact that Hextall appears to have no interest speaks volumes.

    • That is a really goood point. Why would you try someone out you know first hand how he is, I forgot hextal was on that team.

  2. I would be as shocked at Malone getting an invitation from the Rangers, as Malone was shocked about the police finding cocaine in his vehicle…….too soon?

    • Nope.

  3. Sometimes these things make no sense to me: The Isles signed Grabovski and Kulemin to hopefully make them be a playoff team; their time to push towards contention is now.

    They would give up assets to get a top 4 d-man and get even closer to contending. So why would they trade of the guys they just signed to get them there??

    As Spec notes, that would be the time you trade a prospect for a d-man (or, if you’re floundering, then trade Grabo or Kulemin for a prospect. But those guys for a top 4 d-man makes no sense to me.)

    • It just proves katie strang is a idiot.

      • It’s always funny when someone calls someone else “a idiot”

        It would make no sense at all to trade someone you just signed and would make it even harder to sign UFA’s in the future. Andy why would a team trade for someone they could have just got for free? If the isles want defensive help, they’re going to have to give up prospects for it.

        • Paul,Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin share the same agent. He shopped them as a package deal. A team with enough cap space and interest in Grabovski, might not have had cap space or interest in Kulemin.
          Isles have a bunch of quality prospects.I look for Snow to swing a deal before the season starts.

        • But in Katie Strang case it is the closest to true if this is her idea of sports talk…

        • Sorry professor i missed the n

    • Also do you not think if it was possible to get a top 4 dman for either of those guys that the leafs wouldn’t have done that? They may end up working out for the islanders, but their perceived value around the league is not that high.

    • i think the other obvious question is why if a team wanted either of those two players did they not sign them for free when the had the chance?

      now they will give up a top 4 d for a guy they could have had for nothing and take on a terrible contract.

      if only the isles used that money to sign the top 4 dman they let go last spring? hmmm…

  4. Katie Strang is obviously another inexperienced sportwriter who just says what she thinks might be viable. There is absolutely NO chance that the Hawks move Niklas Hjalmarsson. He is clearly a player who plays in the top pair most other places and is signed for another five seasons at an incredibly reasonable 4.1 mil Cap hit.
    It clear makes no sense.
    This “report/suggestion” can be likened to the reports that money grows on trees, and pigs can fly.
    And thanks Katie for bringing up Oduya and Leddy…so unique & original – we have only seen it in print 50 times in the last month.
    A slow month with so mnay front offices on vacation, but no reason to even write anything if you are too inexperienced to add a slant.

    • I have to reiterate Bill, anyone sports writing for a major network has got to be better than this. Niklas Hjalmarsson won’t even be moved in the mini purge for the Hawks next summer. The only player she left out was Patrick Sharp. I mean she could have at least given him honorable mention for being a part of talks at the draft.