NHL Rumor Mill – August 5, 2014

Updates on Patrick Sharp, Marc Staal and Francis Bouillon, plus a look at the NHL free-agent goalie market. 

Will the Blackhawks trade Patrick Sharp this summer?

Will the Blackhawks trade Patrick Sharp this summer?

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford mused over Patrick Sharp’s future with the Chicago Blackhawks, citing the 32-year-old winger’s contract and the club’s limited cap space. Halford noted the rumors earlier this summer suggesting Sharp, despite a limited no-trade clause, could be traded as a cost-cutting move, but he wondered if the Blackhawks would actually move the veteran winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the short term, no, the Blackhawks don’t have to trade Sharp. While currently over the salary cap by $2.2 million, they can shed salary by moving another player (Johnny Oduya? Nick Leddy?).

Next summer, however, they could face a tighter cap squeeze. They’ll have over $65 million invested in 15 players. Key restricted free agents (Leddy, Brandon Saad, Marcus Kruger) must be re-signed, while pending UFAs (Oduya, Brad Richards, Michal Rozsival) must be re-signed or replaced. Even if the salary cap jumps to $75 million, they won’t have sufficient space to re-sign or replace those players unless they shed more salary. If Sharp isn’t traded before the start of this season, his name could resurface in the rumor mill next summer. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross believes the New York Rangers must re-sign defenseman Marc Staal soon or risk having to pay more to keep him off next summer’s free-agent market. Gross also noted the drama that surrounded last summer’s contract talks with Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi and now-former Rangers captain Ryan Callahan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Gross points out, there’s still plenty of time for the Rangers to re-sign Staal before the season starts. The question is, will they? If recent history is anything to go by, no. The Girardi and Callahan negotiations dragged on up to last season’s March trade deadline, while Lundqvist was re-signed in early December. 

RDS.CA: reports the Montreal Canadiens are involved in negotiations with UFA blueliner Francis Bouillon regarding a one-year contract. Bouillon is very interested in returning with the Canadiens.  GM Marc Bergevin wanted to complete negotiations with P.K. Subban before opening talks with the 38-year-old Bouillon.

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran recently examined this summer’s free-agent goalie market. Among those still available are Martin Brodeur, J-S Giguere, Ilya Bryzgalov, Tim Thomas and Tomas Vokoun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Giguere is expected to retire


  1. Maybe Hossa would be the guy to move, I know it sounds a little crazy, but realistically he is 35 still has 6 years on his contract. With his production still at a very high level if they move him they could potentially get a very nice return of a younger cheaper player and good draft pick(s) before his production drops off and free up all kinds of space to retain their RFAs next year while not messing with the blue line chemistry or dealing away Sharp for much less of a return. It would allow them to keep restocking the cuppboards more than Sharp who only has 3 years left on his deal.

    • Only if the Hawks pick up at least a 1/3 of his contract.

    • And that is exactly why no team will take him. He is 35 years old and still has 6 years on his contract. If he retires at any point his salary will still count against his team’s cap hit. He is now an albatross (contractually speaking). If he were to be traded it would have to be sweetened with another strong asset and Chicago would have to take back significant salary in return, which negates the whole idea of trying to move him to gain cap space.

      • Hey TD, I’m not 100% positive that’s correct: I know if a player is *signed* after 35, they count 100% against the cap, even if they retire. I’m not so sure it works the same if they’re traded for after 35.

        My hunch is that they’d only have the same cap penalty as if he retired whether he retires while on the Hawks… or anyone else.

        Can anyone confirm/deny?

        • hypothetically if Hossa Retires adter 16-17 and is traded this offseason here is how it breaks down. I just chose the panthers randomly don’t read into that part.

          Benefit Penalty
          Chicago Blackhawks (2017-18 through 2020-21) $13,098,750 $3,274,688
          Florida Panthers (2017-18 through 2020-21) $4,001,250 $1,000,313

          • it didn’t paste right, the first number is the benefit the second number is the cap penalty. you can do this for anyone on capgeek

          • Thanks, Buffbry! Much appeciated!

      • Icould see Hossa playing simmilar to Jagr or Selanne in to his 40s and still being a productive player, excellent 2 way game, size protects the puck well still has reasonable speed if not better than that. There would be no holding salary he has more value than Sharp imo with what he could bring to a team as a veteran with leadership qualities. It would set the Hawks up better going down the road imo, 5 mill for Hossa with only a mill in actual salary after next season (only 4 mill) to a younger floor type team. Could be a good deal for both sides going down the road.

        • I could see Hossa going to a cap floor team (perhaps a return to Ottawa?) eventually, but right now his actual salary is prohibitive. In 2016-17 when he drops down to $4 million, with the following years at $1 million, he’ll be attractive to teams that have more cap space to fill than they have actual money (particularly if the Cap goes up). Right now, though, he still makes $7.9 million in actual salary and that is prohibitive to teams that have to keep their real costs down.

          • See this is kind of what I am getting at Sharps contract only goes on for 3 more years but in actual dollars he is paid a million more than the total of Hossas deal that goes on for 5 or 6 I think after this year or closer to the deadline when the majority of Hossa salary this year is paid he is a more attractive piece to a team like Ottawa or another floor team, the cap hit might be beneficial more than an albatross. Still could be a 40 50 point guy making 4 mill for 1 year and follwed up by a few years at a mill, and has oter intangibles, like veteran leadership good 2 way play and a better possession player than Sharp.

    • Hossa has been a great two-way player throughout his career; he is very highly respected. I know that Chiarelli wanted him badly when he was a UFA, but I think that it is too late, given Hossa’s age and the Broons’ cap woes, which are almost as bad as Chicago’s.

      • Ottawa might be interested in bringing him back, especially if they think Ryan wants out.

    • Hossa must have been hurt in the playoffs because he sure did not look like himself – or has time caught up to him? Marian is an excellent two-way player, but we may be looking on the downside of his skills. Worth watching

      • I don’t think Ottawa will be interested in Hossa. The pattern in Ottawa right now is go young through drafting and only signing players in the mid to late 20’s at most. Legwand was the exception. Also I don’t believe the dollar’s would work out for such a frugal team and that Hossa would be happy to go back to the city that he wanted out of to make more money.

        • You’re probably right. Maybe as a facesaver though, if Ryan bolts. Without a NTC, presumably Hossa wouldn’t have much say.

    • Just a thought and I probably will get ripped for it but as the Islanders are shifting to Brooklyn and are looking to lock up JT for the LT why not make a pitch for Sharp? TO help Chicago maybe also take on say Nick Leddy?

      TO NYI: Sharp and Leddy
      TO CHI: Bailey, Donovan, Collberg and some type of pick?

      Bailey can move to the 3rd line so Saad stays on 2nd with Richards and Kane. Toews and Hossa can play with Bickell. Donovan replaces Leddy at a much cheaper price.

      Islanders get Sharp who outside of playing with the Islanders might enjoy at least being around JT. JT gets a serious winger to play with along side Okposo who finally is playing to where he has been expected to.

      Thoughts anyone?

      • I think that’s possible. For NYI, they need to come in the top 2/3s of the league at worst. They don’t have their pick for 2015 so at all costs they have to avoid a bottom 10. Leddy and Sharp with their Stanley cup experience and know what it’s like to win attitudes can help them immensely. Bailey would do well in Chicago as a 3rd liner I think and some prospects for the pipeline don’t hurt. Plus the gained cap space is just as valuable. The packages may have to be tweaked a bit but could be done.

  2. In regards to the goalie market, I predict Bryzgalov is gone, Giguere is gone, Brodeur is 50/50 getting a gig, and Vokoun will get a tryout offer.

    • Not 1000% Giguere is gone. Ducks still need an insurance policy for Gibson / Anderson who between them have 40 games of NHL experience, why not toss a million at Giggy to just be there “JUST IN CASE” and be a mentor to the kids ?

  3. Oduya would be a logical choice and the Panthers would also be a logical destination since they need a LD.

    I think anyone would prefer Leddy because he is younger, and Oduya could make it difficult for a trade since he carries a NTC.

    I think Staal’s future depends on what Zuccarello does throughout the year if the Rangers need to use that cap space more on him or on Staal.

    • I sure wouldn’t trade Leddy

      • I agree – I think trading Leddy would be one of the less palatable options (along with trading Sharp) from a Hawks perspective, and they’ll only do it if there are not other options that would allow them to become cap compliant.

  4. You can only pick up remaining salary not cash already paid out…its not going to really affect the cap hit picking up 1/3 of a million dollars for the final part of his deal, a team closer to the floor who might need help getting to the floor and some veteran lesdership in its top 6 may like the idea of paying Hossa a million bucks after next year, a team like say the Islanders or Panthers to name a couple to maybe get to the next level.

  5. Martin Brodeur should just hang it up already,in this age of goaltenders lasting less than 5 years with any one team,just do it please ! You are old and the time has come.

    • Brodeur’s refusal to keep active reminds me of Steve Carleton. lefty was one of the premier left handers in the game in his prime, then hung around way too long.

  6. Brodeur needs the money.

    • If he goes to a contender with half a defensive system, then that said contender will win the cup. Lets say Detroit. Laugh I don’t care cuz Brodeur pwns jooo all

      • Bordeur pawns jewels? To pay all that divorce settlement stuff? Or he pawns his family jewels to anyone who will take them?

  7. There was some buzz that the deal Bryan Murray said he had in the works on July 1st might have been with Chicago (if only because there seemed to be a fit, as Ottawa has an abundance of NHL players on relatively inexpensive contracts and a lot of excess cap space while Chicago has to become cap compliant while still filling its roster).

    However, the Ottawa front office (Murray has spoken less himself since the team announced he was seeking cancer treatment) seems to have backed away from the idea of a trade and indicated that they’re happy with the team as it is. Possible they talked to Chicago about someone like Sharp or Leddy but Chicago decided (as Spector suggests) that they’d look at other trade options first? Another possibility (if Chicago and Ottawa were indeed talking at one point) is that the apparently cash-strapped Senators’ owner nixed any deal that would see Ottawa taking on added salary.