NHL Rumor Mill – July 8, 2014

A listing of the top-10 remaining UFAs, plus the latest on Vincent Lecavalier, Mike Green, Mike Ribeiro and Jeff Petry, plus an update on the Bruins and Maple Leafs. 

Steve Ott remains among the few notable players available in the free agent market.

Steve Ott remains among the few notable players available in the free agent market.

SPORTSNET.CA: Luke Fox lists the top-ten remaining unrestricted free agents. They are: Daniel Alfredsson, Steve Ott, Tomas Vokoun, Michael Del Zotto, Derek Roy, Lee Stempniak, Mike Ribeiro, Martin Brodeur, Devin Setoguchi and Andre Benoit.

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi suggests the news of Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher sidelined four-to-six months with a ruptured Achilles tendon could intensify rumors of the Preators interest in Flyers center Vincent Lecavalier.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Or perhaps that injury was why the Predators signed Olli Jokinen? As Carchidi suggests, stay tuned…

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan believes Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green could be the best fit for the Detroit Red Wings, who seeks a top-four blueliner with a right-handed shot. Khan feels Green is destined to be traded after the Capitals signed Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik a week ago, noting they have eight defensemen under contract for 2014-15. Khan notes the Capitals list of potential trade partners for Green is short, listing the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks as other possible destinations.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals will try to convince the Wings to part with one of their good young forwards, perhaps a center as they still lack depth at that position. It’s also possible the Capitals could move Green in a straightforward salary dump if they add a center in a separate deal via trade or free agency. 

CBS SPORTS: Chris Peters wonders if anyone will take a chance on former Arizona Coyotes center Mike Ribeiro, who was bought out of the remaining three years of his contract because of “behavioral issues”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think a team will, but it could take until training camp or even preseason until a club signs him. Ribeiro remains skilled but he’s garnered a reputation over the years as difficult to work with. It’s a safe bet if a club does sign him it’ll be a one-year deal worth far less than the $5.5 million annually he was to earn with the Coyotes.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Despite the Oilers re-signing defenseman Jeff Petry to a one-year, $3 million contract, Jonathan Willis speculates a trade remains a possibility. Willis notes having Petry under contract improves his trade value.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish is in the market for a center. It’s possible Petry could be used as trade bait to bolster their depth down the middle. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty suggests Lee Stempniak and Peter Mueller as affordable free-agent options for the Boston Bruins, but doesn’t see Dany Heatley as a viable target.

 TORONTO STAR: Rosie DiManno cautions Leafs fans to expect a quiet summer for their club. She claims no one is calling about Dion Phaneuf or James Reimer, and dismissed the Martin Brodeur-to-Toronto rumors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless a rival club calls up Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis with a mind-blowing offer, what you see is pretty much what you’ll get heading into training camp in September, Leafs fans. 


  1. If the Oilers need depth at centre, why don’t they just sign Ott? Grit, leadership skill and character, and could plug in up and down the lineup for short spells.

    I though Caps GM was pretty adamant that Green was staying. With Orpiks recent injuries, having an 8th NHL D man on the roster is not a bad thing.

    • With Orpiks injury history it’s absolutely insane he got the contract he did! Not sure what the Caps brass were thinking…..

      • I know Orpik in my books is worth around $2.5 mill. Maybe they had to outbid a host of others? Also the term of that contract was unbelievable.

  2. I’m not sure MDZ should be on a top 10 list with 11 players on it at the moment. His stock has plummeted.

    • If he still goes unsigned throughout the summer I wouldn’t mind the wings inviting him to camp on a tryout.. He isn’t the right handed pivot they are looking for but he is still young, they could do a lot worse..

    • MDZ and David Booth are in the same category. Would rather sign either of them to a 1 year contract for about $1 million that take on Lecavalier’s contract with his declining skills or Ribero and all his problems.

      • I really thought and still think that MDZ’s problems had a lot to do with his treatment in NY. Between Tort’s and the way he was sent down, scratched and constantly, publicly blasted for his defensive play. But then things didn’t change much or got worse with AV, and then in Nashville. Now you are starting to hear things about Del Zotto that are starting to make me wonder if everything I thought / think maybe wrong. When two organizations that have done pretty well developing young d-men completely give up on him, and you start hearing terms like UN-coachable….you have to start wondering is he capable of playing in the NHL for any team. When NY traded him, I thought they could have got a better return, looking back Klein was a steal! I’m not saying MDZ is done, but I don’t think he is worth anything more than a tryout look. If any team signs him, I think its best to keep expectations low.

        • I think Babcock would turn MDZ around into a serviceable player again.

          • You mean like he did with Kindl or how he uses Smith to kill penalties with no power play time? If I were MDZ I would stay far away from Babcock. If he was a big guy (bigger than what he is), with no offensive skill, very limited defensive skills but works hard like a Lashoff or Glendening he would love him but he isn’t.

        • I don’t know if the Preds gave up on him. They just didn’t want to give him a qualifying offer. It would of cost them more then the guy is worth right now.

          • While I agree he wasn’t worth the the qualifying offer, The Preds have shown zero interest in bringing him back as an ufa. And the things being said about him being “un-coachable” are coming out now, not after or before the trade from NY. It seems these type of things are coming from the Preds management. I think all the signs point to them giving up on him. Right now MDZ is is an offensive d-man, minus the offense and…… always has lacked in defense which makes him completely worthless to most teams at the moment.
            I also have to completely disagree with those thinking he can turn it around in Detroit. If I had to pick one NHL team that would be a a good destination for him at this point, it would be Pittsburgh. But they already have an offensive d-man that can’t play defense in Letang, so I doubt that happens.

  3. Hey Lyle I was wondering since you probably took journalism in school and might of mentioned what it is or what this is called when a reporter writes something like this:

    He also said: “Look how freaking lazy I got playing against the Maple Leafs all those years.” Actually, he didn’t say that last part.

    I didn’t know writers can use their opinion to extend or basically make up a quote. How does a poor writer like Feschuk have a job? I guess the receipt for success is a tiny bit of BS sprinkled in your story to give it that special something something.

    • It’s called “creative license”, Ron. 😉

  4. Perhaps a trade can be found with Ottawa and Detroit. Weircoich is a right handed shot I believe. Young and cheap. Would detroit take a chance on him. What could they offer in return?

    • He shoots left.

    • I don’t think Detroit is looking for young and cheap. They have quite a bit of cap room. They are most likely looking for top end talent for the first defensive pairing.

  5. Still can’t believe Leafs fans think they’ll rid themselves of Phaneuf. No one is calling.

    Quick question for Leaf fans if Reimer gets awarded pretty good money in arbitration are the Leafs going to accept the ruling or let him walk? Because it’s highly unlikely Nonis is gonna get the pieces he wants for him.

    • I believe the only way they can walk is if he is awarded $3.5 M or more. I don’t think it will be an issue since I don’t see that happening. I’m hoping for a resolution (“trade”) in both arb. cases (Reimer and Franson) prior to the process. I like both players, but Reimer would obviously be happier elsewhere, and it would be tough to have that much cap tied up in net when a #1 has been defined. Dealing Franson would be more about balancing the mix on the blueline.

    • You have an office close to Nonis? How do you know? What pieces does Nonis want for Riemer? Rosie Dimano is a joke she also said that the Leafs offered Nolland a long term desl for a little les money than Florida, Bollands agent had an interview yesterday belive it was and said that report was totally inacurate. As Ron pointed out above you cant believe much of what you hear thru most Toronto media when it comes to the Leafs.

      • OMG Shticky seriously? Always trying to get a rise out of me or Leafs 24/7. Do you even pay attention to Nonis’ interviews? Listen carefully he basically said he considers Reimer a #1 goalie in the league (Which is pretty laughable) and he isn’t getting a trade proposal that doesn’t meet his approval for a “good trade.”

        If I was Winnipeg I’d throw a late draft pick Vancouver’s way for Markstrom before I’d even consider Reimer.

        • then you are a fool

          Markstrom 47 gp 12 w 27 L 0 so .896 sv%
          Riemer 140 gp 65W 8 L 11 so .914 sv%

          Reimer has almost as many shutouts as Markstrom has wins.

    • Jes
      I believe Reimer will go through the arbitration process as a way to get out of Toronto. I believe he will be awarded around $3M since the judges usually go on the high side and the Leafs won’t be able to keep Reimer and remain under the cap. At that point they may find a buyer who will take a chance on Reimers $3M one year deal and trade a 7th rounder of something for him or the Leafs will let him walk which is probably the more likely scenario.

      • I wouldn’t trade phaneuf, I would have gotten more help for him, maybe polak will be a help

        • I wouldnt be sutprised if there was a bigger move for another D man coming down the road to help Phaneuf with s better balance of minutes, there is some csp room, alot of guys to plsy crnter and too many right handed d men It would not surprise me if they packaged a combinstion of Kadri a pick and possibly Franson and or Riemer to get 1 more top 4 type to replace Franson and play with Rielly. There is still some moves coming for sure.

      • Again how fo you figure they wont be able to keep him and stay under the cap? 13.25 mill with 17 guys sigened 5 RFAs Ashton and Holland maybe 2 mil 1 mill each and thats a big stretch for Holland based on his no. of games played) so thats 11.25 Franson Riemer at most 3 eac is 6 that leaves 5 .2 give Gardiner 3. leaves over 2 mill…
        Even if you were right (and youre not) Franson and Riemer got 7 between the 2 of them the Leafs could (and should) walk away from them which leaves plenty of cap room. A backup goalie should not be making more than the starter. There are better options.
        Frsnsond arbitration case is not great after last year, Riemers is better but still aways off making 3.5 mill they look at stats, they dont listen to your… would have should have sob stories.

        • nonis proved last year with raymond for a million he coukd get it done under cap. I don’t think reimer will make 3 million and gardiner prob 2.2 to 2.6. but we have to keep space atleast a million. hard to make trades being up right against the cap. I do think franson will get close to 3 but gardiner ittle less and reamer even more less. we will see. all 3 for 7.6 .
          ashton 700k
          Holland 1mill

          my predictons
          franson 2.90
          gardiner 2.5
          reamer 2.2
          laves aprox 4 million. reibero signs 1 year 2.2 and bring up a marlie. 900k still have 900k to work with. I want to put kadri on the wing so if reibero can play 2nd line cener if it doesn’t work oh well he walks.

          • Leafs won’t let Reimer go for nothing. He is a solid backup with starter potential. Reimer wants to realize that potential and is likely using arbitration to entice the leafs to trade him. I believe the longest contract an arbitrator can reward is 2 yrs after which the player becomes a UFA. The leafs will like agree to whatever the arbitrator rewards but then be forced to attempt to trade him before he goes to free agency. Reimer is hoping that fear forces the leafs in a trade, but if it takes a few years Reimer can play his game, show the league what he can do and sign as a free agent. His move simply puts the control in Rwimers hands but I can see the upcoming season ending wih Reimer a leaf.

          • micheal
            Reimer will get $3M from a judge. He had very good stats in the 2012/13 season and the playoffs and okay stats last year. These judges always lien to the higher side. Case in point with Clark MacArthur a few years back.

            If Reimer takes this to the end (which I believe he will do to get out of Toronto) and he gets close to $3M I believe Nonis will have no stomach to pay $3M to his back up and waste valuable cap space which will be taken up by another player when Nonis makes another trade. Therefore they Leafs won’t have the room to keep a back up at that rate under the cap.

            Here is what a judge will here about Berniers record prior to being awarded $2.9M by the Leafs
            Bernier 62 NHL games, 29 wins, 20 losses, 15 OT 914 SV%
            Reimer 140 NHL games 65 wins, 48 losses, 6 OT 914 SV%
            If you were a judge and saw these two records knowing Nonis gave Bernier $2.9M with a very similar Win % and SV% but much less experience wouldn’t the answer be “well if you paid Bernier $2.9M back then I guess James should get at least the same if not more due playing more games with a very similar record”. Just common sense at this point. Nonis painted himself in a corner. You can’t such and blow at the same time.

          • Nuts, so you dont think anything but Bernier will be used as a comparison and only for the year previous to this one? Dont think other goalies and what they mske with similar numbers comes in to it,
            For instance
            Ben Bishop 108 gp 55 w 31L 11oT 8 SO .920 sv% = 2.3 mill
            Brayden Holtby 105 60W 31L 8ot 11 SO .919 Sv% = 1.85 mill

            There are other comparables aswell but youre probably right who needs logical comparisons. They will only look at Bernier, and they will probably ignore this year all together….that makes perfect sense.

    • Real Leafs fans don’t want to “rid themselves of Phaneuf”. The guy plays more than half of every game for us. Who would replace him? Franson? Gardiner? Rielly at this stage of his career? No.

      As if Rosie DiManno has the inside scoop on hockey. She’s an opinion columnist.

  6. Dennis Wideman is a RH shot. He is a big minute D that can handle the powerplay. Calgary is not competing for this season. If the assumption is that the Wings can take on Green’s $6M salary then they can take on Wideman’s $5.25M. He would be cheaper in terms of assets to acquire and is signed for 2 years. They only stumbling block might be the Flames need to his salary to help them hit the cap floor.

  7. I believe this sharks “rebuild” is really about changing how much they spend on salary. I don’t expect them to pick up any salary like Green, even if he would help the team win more

  8. @ JES

    I do not believe Leafs were or are planning to move Phaneuf, as per Shanahan. They listened but that’s it, planning to surround him with more support. While many think they did little, they upgraded with Polak and Robidas., so he should not have to play more than 20 minutes per night at most. Adding Komorov, Santorelli Frattin and the new dude means being able to roll up to 4 lines, not 2.5, which should mean the top 2 lines are not overloaded and having more steam to backcheck and support, and the bottom two lines more time to do their job which is primarily shutting the other team down

    I do not think Reimer is going to get a big settlement in arbitration after this season. Not sure if or how much the year before will factor in. I expect he gets the same or less than what he was making, but at the end of it all I expect Nonis to move him somehow, perhaps to Winnipeg. I also see Franson then being traded, perhaps to Canucks as part of a package for Markstrom.

    • Why would you want Markstrom? Just making another Reimer situation. Markstrom wants to be a starter or at least have a decent shot at being a starter and with Bernier there that won’t happen. Calgary, Edmonton, Philly, Dallas?, Ottawa and the Jets seem like more likely destinations.

      • at least in Toronto, he won’t be a #3

        • Ottawa’s plan is to move Lehner into the starter position. Look for him to pick up quite a bit of starts this season. Anderson could become trade bait by the trade deadline. I can’t see Ottawa bringing in another goalie like Markstrom. The battle there is for Lehner to be number one. If he doesn’t cut it Anderson will be retained. Then things will get interesting. But as far as Ottawa is concerned its Andrson or Lehner.

          • @ Jeff, what do you think about Dallas and Lehtonen. I don’t think he’s good enough to carry them to that next level.

      • Markstrom is not a starting goalie and never will be, he’s just not that good. He’ll have a hard time staying at the NHL level, even as a backup. JMO.

  9. re: Del Zotto
    Ducks should offer him 2 years, first year one million, second year 1.5 million. Turn him over to Scott Niedermayer and let him take charge of MDZ, Niedermayer has really helped both Lindholm & Fowler get to the NHL fast and be effective. Worth the small risk

  10. JES, every team you mention except Winnipeg has a decent (maybe not spectacular) looking tandem in goal.

    Calgary – Hiller and Ramo
    Edmonton-Scrivens and Fasth
    Philadelphia-Mason and Emery
    Dallas-Lehtonen and Lindback
    Ottawa-Anderson and Lehner

    Winnipeg can put Hutchison on their farm team until Pavelic is close to being done his deal , traded or bought out. Reimer IMO is an upgrade on Pavelic and has played for Coach Maurice before, and while he crapped out in TO this year he has played and can play better, but the situation in TO is beyond repair.

    With Reimer out, Markstrom becomes the backup and would get at least 20 games as LEafs have 18 back to back games this upcoming season. he was content to battle or be the backup for Lack, but not battle to even be the backup in Vancouver.

    • Egad please not Marstrom

      • Totally agree, Markstrom will be in the minors in no time, like Dubnyk.

    • @ MURPH

      Calgary – If Hiller can get beat out by Gibson and Andersen what’s stopping another top prospect like Markstrom from doing that.

      Edmonton – Fasth isn’t that good my friend. Hardly label Edmonton as having a good goalie tandem.

      Philadelphia – The tandem of Emery and Mason is almost just as bad as Scrivens and Fasth

      Dallas – Lindback hasn’t had good numbers since his Nashville days.

      Ottawa – Anderson will probably be traded mid season, that is why I put them in there.

      Arizona – Could also be added seeing that Smith is usually injured for quite lengthy periods.

      • Jes..you need to give your head a shake.

        The Flyers just resigned lMason last year to a four year deal, paying him over $4 a year.

        He is the starter in Philly. He is better than Markstrom, by a long shot.

        Markstrom has had potential since when? He was drafted in 2008….6 years a go. Last year he played 16 games, and had a save % around 873, and a GAA of 3.39.

        He has a career average of 47 games, 3.19 GAA, and .896 SP.

        Nothing to wow with there.

        Mason, has been a lot better.

        Last year, 33 wins, 2.50 gaa and .917 sp.

        Career: 300 games, 2.79 GAA, and .907sp.

        It’s not even close.

        Get your facts straight.

        Emery I am not sold on, but for a million, and a guy who has a geat attitude/ team guy…I can take him until Stolarz is ready to back up Mason.

        Neither Reimer nor Markstrom are at Mason’s level.

        • Id say Reimer is at Masons level, Mason had a rough year or 2 as has Riemer.

          If you look at it Mason has played twice the games Riemer has and basically Riemer is on the same pace for shutouts, their GAA is very similar.

          Mason 300GP 23 SO Riemer 140GP 11 SO

          Reimer 2.85 GAA Mason 2.79 GAA

          Riemer .915 SV% Mason .907

          Mason 300gp 131 W = .433 winning %

          Riemer 140GP 65W = .46 winning %

          Not saying one is necessarily better than the other, just that besides GP their stats are almost identical.

          • Sorry Shticky….don’t agree at all.

            Mason is on the up and up. He earned the starters position in Philly….a place where goaltenders careers end.

            He has played more than 2x as much….and there is a reason for that.

            Reimer last year: gaa was 3.29. Mason was at 2.50…huge difference.

            Shutouts don’t mean much….If he has that many shutouts, and still gets a higher gaa…..says something too.

      • Markstrom stinks. His GAA is over 3.

  11. What exactly is Riberio rumored of doing?

    • Nothing specific but to let a player go like that and citing behaviour problems leads me to believe hat it is more than a cocky difficult to coach attitude. I’m thinking there is a substance abuse problem that is effecting e players fitness level. Just speculation but it is not incoming for Alcohol to be an issue.

  12. A lot of people in Montreal believe Plekanec will be traded. I could see him in Nashville or Washington. I don’t expect a lot in return even if he is a very good two-way center. He is 31 now. Time for younger players to step in.

    I was surprised to see what we got for Gorges. Blocking shots and leadership aren’t important? He was playing more than 20 minutes per game. He was good on penalty killing. One of the best PK in the league last year.

    I just hope the kids are ready to play. Time for Galchenyuk to become a real top 6 forward.

  13. Bruins shouldn’t sign anybody else all they need to do is play there kids. If going into the playoffs they need to add a player then add one. The reason you have a draft is to add depth to the organization you either trade them or play them time for a few to start playing.

  14. Obe you are 100% correct, and that is what I think they will do. May just have to make a small move to make the cap work. With Savard’s $4MM coming off with LTIR they will be close but may have to shave a little.

  15. With Stempniak and Setoguchi still out there I with the penguins would sign one of them with the desperate need for one more top 6 forward. Feel Setoguchi would have the biggest chance to work out for the pens with little cost. Once they lock up Sutter (hopefully soon) they can get back to tying up this loose end.