NHL Rumor Mill – July 26, 2014

The latest on Jake Gardiner, the Devils could shop a forward, plus a look at some rumors kicking around the hockey blogosphere. 

Leafs management expects to re-sign Jake Gardiner.

Leafs management expects to re-sign Jake Gardiner.

TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis doesn’t foresee any problems re-signing RFA defenseman Jake Gardiner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Though Gardiner’s been the subject of frequent trade speculation since last season, I believe the Leafs intend to hang onto him for a while.

NORTHJERSEY.COM: Tom Gulitti speculates UFA forward Ryan Carter is waiting for the Devils to move a forward before re-signing with the club. They currently have 14 forwards under one-way NHL contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only “expendables” I see on the Devils are Michael Ryder, Damien Brunner, Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier.


As things are rather quiet for rumors reported by the MSM, here’s my take on some trade chatter kicking around the ol’ hockey blogosphere:

Joe Thornton to Ottawa, Patrick Marleau to Pittsburgh. No, and no. Thornton and Marleau made it quite clear earlier this summer they’re unwilling to waive their respective movement clauses. They haven’t changed their minds. If Thornton was willing to waive his, it wouldn’t be for a rebuilding club like the Senators, but rather a genuine Cup contender. As for the Penguins, they’ve made their moves for the summer.

Rangers could trade Derick Brassard. As the NY Post’s Larry Brooks recently reported, Brassard will either be re-signed to a multi-year deal worth between $5.2 – $5.6 million annually, or an arbiter will award him a one-year deal worth around $4.5 million. I don’t see the Rangers moving him.

Evander Kane to the Islanders. I don’t expect the Jets to shop Kane anywhere this summer. While I’m sure they’ve received offers, I expect they’ll keep him to start the season and see how things go from there.


  1. The Reimer signing is definitely setting up for a trade. No way James signs for two more years at that rate to delegated to being a back up. He wants a starters job and signing a cap friendly two year deal means a trade is imminent. Smart move on Reimer’s end.

    • Why trade him now unless, Nonis is getting a good return, which is doubtful right now. I doubt they move him for a while they are not just going to give him away because he wants to be a starter, if he plays well in Toronto he could still see alot of games. Just over 2 mill is alright for a pretty good back up, not sure they should be in any hurry to deal him let him play some games and see if he increases his value.

      • I would rather have Emery and his attitude at $1 million per as the back up, than Reimer at $2.3 million per, and a distraction to the team.

        Yes Shticky, I think Emery is the better goalie. Reimer went over half the season without a win last year.

        You can blame the team in front of him all you want, but at the end of the day….Reimer looked bad in many games.

        Bernier as the starter is a great goalie for the Leafs. I wanted Bernier or Schneider in Philly, but we had to settle for Mason…which turned out just fine for us.

        I think Toronto should have just signed a cheaper guy as the backup, and moved on from Reimer.

        Just my opinion. No offence meant. Not slamming the Leafs, just think they could have picked up a back up that would give them the same results on the ice as Reimer, and cost half as much.

        • A bad year for Riemer I agree, but Id rather not just give him away for a bad year, if you look at his career numbers he has been overall pretty good. Jus over 2 mill he wont be any more of a distraction than 1 of the 100 other things that Toronto media will make a distraction by the end of the season. If its not Riemer it will be something else. There is just no avoiding distractions in that market.

    • What can Reimer realistically bring as a return. Maybe a 3rd rounder??? They may as we’ll keep him as a back up for Bernier

    • Leafs 24/7….Have you not been paying attention? Reimer asked for a trade and the Leafs tried to accommodate him, only one problem, no one wanted to trade for him. So he had to suck it up and sign with the one team he no longer wanted to play for. So to sum it up the Leafs are paying $5.2 million in goalies, and neither one is a proven #1, and don’t forget the the real possibility of Reimer becoming a huge distraction (like the Luongo situation in Van).

      • Wow you got that out of the story? You’re just as bad as 24/7. I think you meant to say, they shopped him and didn’t like the return. If you’re right about Toronto not having a real number one goalie, which they have two above league average S% goalies meaning both goalies ranked top 20 in a 30 team league and all that for under $5.2M. So you think that’s bad?

        • But that doesn’t mean they are both starters…Save percentage is one of many factors of a goalie position, and the rest of his numbers are horrible.

          Noone offered anything for Reimer, as he is not improving….he seems to be taking a step back..kind of like Kadri.

          Big year for many Leafs this season…Reimer and Kadri need to rebound and get back to 2 seasons ago.

          Clarkson needs to show his contract was worth it. JVR needs to have a monster year.

          • Clarkson will never live up to the contract but if he can atleast come closer to it, get maybe 15 goals and be a bit more of a presence in front of the net on the pp etc, it should help lighten the load off the top line. Just dont drag Kadri and Lupul down like he did last year. He was an anchor. Playing with Holland and Santorelli in a third line roll may workout better.

          • Hope you are not talking gaa last year on a team that nearly gives up 35-40 shots a night, other than that his career numbers are actually better than alot of “proven starters” good sv% good winning% shutouts…etc 1 bad year dosent mean he is bad. Look at Mason he seems to be working out ok now after a couple of miserable years in Columbus. Goalies can bounce back.

          • Kind of like Kadri?

            Kadri had a decline in production for his sophomore year, as 80% of all sophomores do. You’re taking this way out of context.

            As for Reimer, I don’t think any goalie could succeed under the environment Toronto put him in. First Reimer comes in during the 2010-11 season and plays unbelievably. The next season (2011-12) he started off well but after getting that cheap elbow to the head thanks to MTL’s Gionta he had a hard time recovering that season, and his numbers suffered. I’m a paramedic and I see a lot of people deal with concussions. He had no fault in how he played after coming back. In 2012-13 Reimer stood on his head and almost single-handidly got TO into the playoffs and was the one reason TO lasted seven games. Did he get kudos? No, he got blamed because of the 1 goal he let in that some deemed too easy. From that moment one he was written off even though management wouldn’t say it. They got Bernier, equally as untested as Reimer was at the time, handed him a contract that doubled Reimer’s in salary and then said they will battle for the starter job. We all know the moment we got him he’d be the starter, no matter how much management danced around the issue. Reimer got the hard starts (even Don Cherry criticized the team for that) and Bernier got the easier ones. Reimer was set up from the beginning. Add in the constant rumours about trades and then Carlyle’s immature “okay” comment and then the team’s notably weaker game they played in front of him. No goalie deserves what Toronto did to him and as a fan I’m ashamed and hope he gets traded for a bag of pucks because he deserves a fresh start.

          • @thirstydeer

            Yeah, I think Kadri had an off year, and was a disappointment after his almost a point a game pace in the lockout season.Most of Toronto had an off year, and it reflected with them missing the playoffs.

            What ever the reasoning is behind Reimer…whether it is the Leafs or Reimer, it is hurting his value. Last year,he was a bad backup. Period.

            He needs to re-establish himself as a starter, and show he can be one…and someone will take a chance on him…. but if he plays like last year, and doesn’t get a win when he has a chance…he is going to be a hard sell.


            No, not based on last year only…I have seen enough Leaf games over the years against the Flyers and watched the Boston Leaf series last year. I watch a game whenever I can…and always get center ice…I am just not convinced from what I have seen that he is anything but a good backup.

      • Canadian King

        What does Bernier have to do to prove he’s a proven number one goalie? The guy is a proven number one goalie. I’d honestly rather have him then many of the other goalies out there.

        And just for your information this is coming from a guy who hates the Leafs and is a Sabres fan.

        • jes bernier has not proven he is a starter yet he has 1 yr of playing a lot of games and guess what he got hurt ! I think he will be a good goalie too but he hasn’t proven to be a starter yet

    • The two year term doesn’t make sense if Reimer isn’t on the trade block. Why not sign a one year deal and become a UFA next summer and choose your destination. He could even go to Europe next year and make more if he is looking for a bigger pay day depending on his performance this year. If he signs a one year deal and does well this year he would get a nice payday in the NHL and a new three year term from some team. He must have been given assurances that he will be moved if he has a good start this year. Otherwise signing for two years knowing you will be the back up just doesn’t make sense.

      • Ok Reimer was limited in his choices, it was Toronto or nothing unless traded and there is no way during these negotiations Toronto and Reimer sat together and decided on a contract that would allow them to trade him. It doesn’t work that way. Reimer sat with his agent and discussed what will be best for him. T.o. Management sat together and decided what was best for the club. A 2 yr deal is the natural result, from Reimers perspective it’s good money for two years, and allows the leafs to trade him and allows him to showcase his game for two years. From T.O? Perspective they get a solid back up goaltender who possibly could be starter material for two years at ideal dollars and if needed an asset to be traded without a hindering contract. This is all just speculation derived through logical thought. Perhaps Reimer is traded perhaps he plays out the year and is traded next season, perhaps Bernier bombs out receives a career ended injury and Rwimer becomes the starter etc etc etc.

  2. No way the Pens deal for Marleau … total nonsense … Rutherford will now show his patience until next March … the Pens in October will not represent the team in April or May … he knows they have to win in the post season and will tinker accordingly.

    • Do you really have that much faith in Rutherford after the mess he has made out of Carolina the past few years? Not sure that I would. I do agree tho with the Marleau to the Pens thing.

      • In my opinion Marleau would be a great addition to the Pens.

      • I’m with Shticky on this one. Yes Rutherford won a cup in Carolina but his work in the last few years has been awful. The Cam Ward contract was horrible. Staal trade IMO was awful as well. Just because they’re brothers doesn’t mean they’ll perform like the Sedin’s.

        • Semin..

          • id still take Rutherford over nonis anyday what has he ever done?? except give out bad contracts Clarkson,phaneuf and lets not forget robidas geez 37 2 broken legs last year and he gives him 3 yrs!! cant wait to hear the leafs faithful whine about this one lol

  3. With the cap space available to the Leafs now might be worth giving Gardiner a bit more money on a 3 or 4 year deal instead of bridging him for 1 or 2.

    • God we finally agree on something.

      • Pk signed his bridge deal for 2.8 per. Gardiner will come in around 2-2.5 but like you said if they want to do a 4 year deal at 3 I’m ok with that..

        • Honestly if he would sing for 4 Id do 3.5-3.75 I think if you look at his posession numbers and the position he will be in this year, if he performs up to his standard it could be a steal down the road. I think he gets more first unit power play time over Franson this year as well as the fact I think they will deal Franson at some point and at that point his point totals should go way up.

          • I gamble on Gradiner fulfilling his potential and over pay slightly to lock him up for 5 plus years. But i like the kid and personally believe he will develop into a excellent Dman.

          • Okay so we all agree he should be locked up for four or five years especially given the fact that every non-Leaf fan on this site thinks he’s worth dog crap in a trade.
            Something like:
            Four years – $3.0 – $3.5M
            Five year – $3.5M to $3.75M

          • I’m a Sens fan and a fan of Gardiner go figure

  4. Brassard worth that kind of money? Haven’t the Rangers learned from Drury, and Gomez? But at least they were way more proven than Brassard

    • Totally agree.

  5. TO has to sign Gardiner….they’re extremely low on NHL proven defendemen they currently have 5 starters but that includes Reilly and Franson who can hardly be considerd vets in the league….neither is Gardiner. The TO defensice core across the board is weak. Most of the UFA have been signed, they’ve backed themselves into a corner. Remember TO had the 5th worse GAA in the league last season and they’ve done little to improve themselves in that area. Why they added and spent money on two fringe NHL forwards like Santorelli and Booth ( bring the signed forwars to 16 ) I have no idea. AS to Reimer he wanted out last year and I doubt that hasn’t changed. It’s no wonder TMP brought in Shanahan and the “kid” Dumbas the management does not look strong. Changes are coming and I don’t doubt it will start with Nonis and Carlyle. OK for Nonis he can go to Calgary with BB but it may be the end of the road for Calryle.

    • You must of missed a week or so in the off season. They signed robidas who is an nhl vet and also traded gunnerson for polak who pretty much the same as gunnerson except more physical. I would say for the most part this is a better d then last year.

      • I certainly didn’t miss the addition and subtractions of defensemen. Robidas is 37 with a 3 year contract, Polak is a plugger,. But the fact is TO has 5 repeat 5 defensmen with NHL experience, they sign Gardener that become 6 most NHL teams carry 8 and a defense that includes Franson, Gardiner and Reilly doesn’t look as solid as most NHL teams IMO maybe 1 of that trio, sure, but all three on team is not what I would call prudent.. Why didn’t they sign Willy Mitchel UFA he’s rock solid D.

        • Freddy you got to pay attention to the hockey world my friend. Robidas is pretty good defenseman. The guy is ageless. He still plays at a very competitive level. Polak is a reliable defensive defensemen.

          • Oh I do, believe me I do. Robidas and Polak are not the problem although I’d say Robidas best years are behind him and I’m betting may suffer a few injury days off. Polak I watched in St L and he’s OK, average, # 5-6 on a good team…. Phaneuf is a top 4 D and sill good for a good number of years, the rest young, prone to mistakes and not many clubs would want all of those young players together on the same team. Might be OK if you had Quick in nets but you don’t LOL. In the mean time there are an overage of forwards… doesn’t make sense.

        • Correction, Reilly had a very good first year. Yeah he had a terrible +/- but that is one stat and the whole team was horribly defensively. He played physical. He showed his skills. He was getting more comfortable with every game. There’s a lot more great things to look from from this player.

          • Reilly will be good unles he does a Luke Schenn. Remember the adulation that was poured on that young man by Leafs fans. Brought in too early. But the +/- is a key component to improving a teams GAA.

    • I disagree Polak is way better than Gleason or Ranger and I like Robidas better than Gunnarsson if Robidas can stay healthy, also they are deeper with the additions of Komarov Santorelli and Booth I dont see lines being as gased, if they balance out minutes better between 4 lines as compared to last year where it was really 2 and a half lines being used for the most part, also with centers that are capable of actually playing instead of at 1 point haveing McClemment and Smithson playing center with JVR they will posess the puck more instead of winning a draw and chipping a puck off the glass and never touching it again until the whistle blows. Not saying they make the playoffs but this team will not be as bad defensively as last years.

      • There is still the matter of Carlyle and his wonky systems, if it wasnt for that Id have alot more confidence in this team. I think it has potential, but that will only go so far with a weird swarming D set up where no one knows what guy to cover, and the dump and chase thing has to stop entering the O zone, they are not built for it. Have use their speed.

  6. Trade Reimer to the Jets – cost/return is minimal and Reimer would be an improvement to Pavs. Pavelec needs competition. Gardiner is a defensive liability. Trade him or make him a winger he’s not a defenseman.

    • Actually he was one of the 2 or 3 d men on Toronto who wasnt terrible defensively and if you get him away from Franson who is just about useless in his own end, he is actually quite good defensively. Gunnarsson Gleason Franson and Ranger are what stunk it up they were all awful in their own end, just brutal posession numbers, and there is no sheltering 4 out of 6 d men’s minutes.

      • Gardiner can’t handle anyone physically, which makes him a liability in the defensive zone. Leafs’ overall defense last season was horrible. Make him a winger, his speed will drive opposing defenseman crazy.

        • Guess the pens should make Letang a forward and someone should tell Paul McLean that he is using Karlsson wrong, was Lidstrom or Coffey physical? How bout Bourque? Neidermayer? If a D man can carry and move the puck with some speed they dont need to be physical. He is a very good passer who can skate the puck out of danger and when he joins the rush with the forwards the opposition D has to back up.

          • ” Lidstrom or Coffey physical? How bout Bourque? Neidermayer?”

            Actually yes they were. They weren’t all defense or offense. What made them some of the greatest players to play the game? They did absolutely everything.

          • Not sure how old you are or how much you seen Coffey or some of the others play but coming from an older guy who seen them play lots Jes they were known for their superior skating and playmaking abilities. They were not what many would say is physical type defender. I m not saying Gardiner is anywhere near the level of player they were, he is not, just that he plays the same style.

      • and Phaneuf gets a free pass from your stink it up list? Did you see his stat’s from the last half of the season? He is the Capitan after all.

        • Show me the stats you are refering to, and dont ya kinda find it interesting that at the start of the year (before he was ran into the ground playing way too many minutes with a bad partner) he had good stats? Especially since he was playing with a “no.2 ” d man who was the worst corsi player in the league last year? That was also playing way too many minutes against way too good of competition? Seems Funny to me to blame Dion who plays nearly half the game with a guy who is typically a 4 or 5 D man on another team (or Kostka a guy who is a 6 or 7) for bad D. Guys like Gunnarrsson and Kostka playing 25 mins plus a night with Dion could very well be why Dion doesnt look the same by the end of the year. Him being captain has nothing to do with the 4 guys that have no skill playing D on the team, he cant use his magical captain powers to make Gleason Ranger Gunnarsson or Franson faster or not suck in their own end.

          • He still needs to play a FULL season at the level he played during the first half otherwise he’s not worth his contract and not worthy of the “C”.

            How about this. We pay Phaneuf $7M prorated for half a season and we pay him $800k for the second half of the season prorated. This way he is paid properly for each half of the season based on his performance the past few years. lol

          • the leafs D was terrible last year, but that was last year. robidas (if healthy) and polak should help “stabilize”the d in times of duress, and yes phaneufs contract should go to minimum wage after the allstar break!

  7. The Leafs D will be much improved. They will not be playing the “swarm defense system” anymore, for the simple reason that most teams cannot and do not play it. It has to be flawless, every time, and thats a big risk to take. if Robidas plays with Phaneuf that will be a major upgrade on the number one pair. Polak, whether he plays with Reilly or Gardner, is solid, tough and reliable enough to allow either one to play their offensive game when possible. Franson is on another one year deal. Because he will be a UFA next year, he is going to bust his ass trying to make sure he gets top dollar next July. I will get a lot of darts for this but I think Ranger would have been the perfecct 7th defenseman. He might have been their 2nd best overall defenseman in the last stretch of the season. As he has moved on, one of the Marlies D men will have to win the battle for that 7th spot. Because of the added depth and minute munching ability in Robidas and Polak, Phaneuf will play 20 minutes or less on avaerage, which when you do the research, is when he has been at his best. More than that and mistakes come…bigger and faster.