NHL Rumor Mill – June 4, 2014.

The latest on Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, Dion Phaneuf, Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Joe Thornton and Matt Niskanen. 

It appears Ales Hemsky won't be returning to the Senators.

It appears Ales Hemsky won’t be returning to the Senators.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray isn’t keen to entertain offers from Eastern Conference teams for Jason Spezza. Garrioch claims the Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks are believed to have interest in the Senators’ captain. It’s believed the asking price could be a first-round pick, a top-six player who can help the Senators immediately, and a good prospect. Garrioch cites a league source claiming the Senators could be interested in Ducks’ forward Nick Bonino. Spezza’s believed to have given the Senators a list of 10 teams where he can’t be dealt, and could prefer playing somewhere where the spotlight isn’t as harsh.

Garrioch also reports league sources claiming contract talks between the Senators and Ales Hemsky have broken down after the Hemsky camp sought a new deal worth $5.5 million per season. A source claims Hemsky set that price so high because he’d prefer to play in an American market with less attention after spending his career playing in Canada.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray might prefer moving Spezza to a Western market but if an Eastern club made a better offer he’d have to seriously consider it. Spezza could be willing to join the Ducks and Blues as they’re in better position as potential Cup contenders than the Predators or Canucks. He’s eligible for UFA status next summer so a deal could hinge on an interested club being able to negotiate a new contract with him.

As for Hemsky, his injury history could hurt his efforts to land $5.5 million per season from any team, not just the Senators. Teams in need of offense, like the Predators, Panthers and Coyotes, could have interest in him.

TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger reports the Maple Leafs are eyeing the first overall pick in this year’s draft. There’s a rumor making the rounds claiming the Leafs will ship Dion Phaneuf, Nazem Kadri and their first-round pick (eighth overall) to the Florida Panthers for the first overall pick and veteran defenseman Ed Jovanovski. The Leafs would then use the pick to select Barrie Colts’ defenseman Aaron Ekblad.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I find this deal far-fetched, but I’ll play along and break it down. I think the Panthers would jump on this, as it would improve their offense. Phaneuf, despite his defensive faults, is a good puck-moving blueliner, while Kadri has the skills to be a very good second-line center.  The move, however, sucks for the Leafs. Yes, they get the first overall pick and shed salary, but Jovanovski is all but finished as an effective NHL defenseman. He’s also on a “35-plus” contract, meaning if he retires this summer, his $4.125 million cap hit still counts against the Leafs cap for next season.

While the Leafs would have a “promising young defense” with Ekblad joining Morgan Reilly, Jake Gardiner and Matt Finn, they’ll still lack a couple of proven top-two defensemen. It also puts incredible pressure upon these young defensemen. Trading away Kadri weakens them at center, especially if they fail to re-sign Dave Bolland, which could be a risky move as I’m not convinced he’s a reliable second-line center. Unless the Leafs are intent on blowing things up to rebuild, or intend additional moves to replace Phaneuf and Kadri this summer, this deal makes no sense for them. 

SPORTSNET.CA: Chris Johnston reports the New York Rangers face a tough decision regarding the future of Brad Richards following the playoffs. There’s speculation the Rangers could use their remaining compliance buyout to dump the remainder of Richards’ contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The way I see it, the Rangers really don’t have much of a choice. They have nearly $54 million invested in only 13 players, leaving them only a projected $17 million to re-sign  or replace Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, Anton Stralman, Benoit Pouliot, Brian Boyle, Dominic Moore and others. Unless the intent is to dump Rick Nash’ contract, they must buy out Richards or risk his $6.66 million annual salary remaining a hindrance to their efforts to maintain a competitive roster.

TWINCITIES.COM: Tom Powers suggests the Minnesota Wild should consider bringing back Marian Gaborik, rather than pursue Thomas Vanek this summer. Powers admits the Kings could re-sign Gaborik, who might not be willing to return to the Wild, but given his playoff performance believes it’s something worth considering for the Wild.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While anything’s possible, I think Gaborik wants to remain with the Kings and they could be willing to retain him for a reasonable three-year deal. Perhaps they buy out the remainder of Mike Richards’ contract (worth over $5 million per season) and use the saving to invest in Gaborik.

CSN BAY AREA: Ray Ratto notes Joe Thornton is being mentioned in Sharks trade rumors more than Patrick Marleau, believing that’s because the latter has effectively improved his checking and defensive play. He wonders if Thornton is willing to accept giving up the Sharks’ captaincy and a lesser role with the club. Ratto also points out moving Thornton, who has a new three-year deal with a full no-movement clause, won’t be easy.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It comes down to Thornton. If he wants to remain a Shark, he’ll have to give up the captaincy and accept a lesser role as the club transitions toward a younger core. If not, he’ll have to be flexible as to where he could be dealt. It wouldn’t surprise me, however, if Thornton is willing to do whatever is needed to remain in San Jose. 

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James believes Matt Niskanen would be a good addition to the Red Wings for the right price. She considers paying over $6 million per season would be a gamble, given he’s had one banner year out of the past six.


  1. Ludicrous deal there are a couple of them floating around that involve the Leafs and Panthers.

    • How about a deal consisting of:

      To Florida: Phaneuf, Kadri, Gardiner and Leafs 2014 8th pick

      To Toronto: Gudbranson, Jovanovski, Bjugstad and 1st overall

      • Lol good one Antoni needed a good laugh today.

        You want two of the very best prospects in the league and a 1st overall who could be the next Shea Weber for a defenseman with a horrible contract which he will never live up to, at best a 2nd line center and Gardiner? Not happening bud. But we can all dream.

        • I know .. Dream on!! Why is Phaneuf so hated ?! The Leafs should really just bite the bullet and trade him for fan acceptance…

        • And at a time Yaks “could have been” the next Stamkos..Jes they are draft picks and prospects Antonis deal is rediculious for the same reasons as mentioned in the article above, unless the Leafs are blownig up. Gardiner Kadri and Phaneuf are all more proven NHL players than what they are getting and Jovo could possibly be a guy who they have to pay a rather large cap hit for nothing if he retires or if he is anything but a 7th d man for that matter if he doesnt. Yes Ekblad could be a great player as could Bugstad but as of right now they havent proved they are anything but potential. We see it every year this time “this guy could be the next…(insert name here)” Yet no one says this guy could be the next Yaks or Luke Schenn Alexander Daigle etc. They all look fantastic in JR doesnt necessarily mean they are going to live up to their potential.

          • I think its a little early to call Yakupov a bust. 31 points on a last place team as a rookie and 24 points this past season on an arguably worse team than the year before. Joe Thornton had 7 points in his rookie season and followed that up with 41 the year after. Different players,teams, time, etc… but I wouldn’t be painting Yakupov as a bust just yet. I think there’s a chance he gets moved at the draft and the rumour of Yakupov and the Oilers 3rd overall pick to the Flyers for the Schenn brothers is making the rounds here in Oil Country.

          • Im not saying he was a bust. I am saying he is along way from living up to his potential and the constant trade rumors including this one confirm them.. do you think Taveres Stamkos McKinnon Hall etc were ever talked about getting packaged with another first round pick like that? At the time he was drafted he was most peoples clear no. 1 pick with a lot of hype surrounding him.

        • @Jes… Talk about a terrible contract! Nashville is paying $ 52 million in the next 4 years of real $$$ salary to Weber but Phaneuf @ $ 30.5 million is so horrible!!?

          Nashville should be calling the Leafs and offer Weber and their 11th pick for Phaneuf, Kadri and Toronto’s 8th..

          Promote Holland to 1st/2nd/3rd line center and call it a great hockey trade for both!!

          • Frankly I don’t know how Nashville can afford to pay Weber that huge $$ bonuses and not grow their business. @ 16k in avg. attendance at below avg. ticket prices!? Go figure..

          • Toronto, Montreal and maybe the New York Rangers are the only team that can afford to pay Weber that amount of $$$ and not affect their yearly operating profit.. However the Team Cap and ROI based on revenue has mitigating factor based on feasible circumstances..

            That is how a healthy business operate..

          • Nashville Predators has been bleeding $$$ for the last 8 years counting!!

          • Heck even a Kessel / Weber & picks works for both as a true Hockey trade…

            Both teams have enough assets in their organization to replace the moving parts!!

          • Antoni you sure know how to over value your players. First of all I’d pay that much for the games best defenseman. You can’t just get a player like Weber. Comparing his contract to Phaneuf’s is ridiculous. Weber brings a whole lot more to the game then Phaneuf.

            “Nashville should be calling the Leafs and offer Weber and their 11th pick for Phaneuf, Kadri and Toronto’s 8th”

            Ya and if Nashville makes that call Poille should be fired. If Nonis makes that call I’m 100% sure he’d be laughed at by Poille and Fenton lol. The first deal you proposed with Florida was out in left field but this one isn’t even in the same ballpark anymore.

      • why does anyone think Phaneuf has value? i think you can probably make a better case that he actually has negative value.

      • No way Florida takes the likes of Gardiner and Kadri for Gudbranson and Bjugstad.

        • I missed the Gundbranson part of the deal…ok that part is a little off lol, just with all the Phaneuf bashing and stars in the sky being Ekblad and other prospects its crazy.

      • Gardiner is not going anywhere so forget about that idea. Also, if the Leafs really want to draft Ekblad, why would they take Gudbranson? And why would anyone take Jovanovski other than helping Florida dump salaries? Spector mentioned the Leafs’ young defense which would be greatly improved with Ekblad: You have Gardiner and Rielly whom we all know about. There’s also Matt Finn of the Guelph Storm, named an All-Star at this year’s Memorial Cup as well as the OHL Best Captain Award, and you should also include Stuart Percy of the Toronto Marlies, who is more of a defensive specialist than the others. He won’t get you excited about his play but he can play on a #2 PP unit and he’s very capable in his own end, something which the Leafs are in need of very badly. Watch him closely next year if he gets called up. This group may not mean much to you now but watch them again in about 4 years and with or without Ekblad, they should be great!

      • This deal is a little over the top. Forget the values, that’s not the main problem as each side is giving up different pieces of value, and a lot of it hinges on potential. The issue is that deals typically focus on a target, then value is added after the fact. For instance a deal involving the Leafs and Panthers would likely center around Phaneuf for the 1st. Then the panthers want more, so the Leafs say add Kadri, and the Panthers need to shed salary and the Leafs need a defensive body, so then say Jovo comes back the other way.

        I also have to agree with Schtiky on the hype around a top pick defensemen is a little overblown. Ekblad could be a great young defender, but the fact is that statistically he would be considered a better than average 1st defensemen picked if he turned out to be as good as Phaneuf. Considering this draft isn’t supposed to be overly high end in terms of the top talent, it is quite likely that Ekblad doesn’t turn out as good as Phaneuf.

        From 2002-2011 the first defensemen chosen in each of those drafts was as follows:

        Larsson, Gudbradson, Hedman, Doughty, Hickey, E. Johnson, J. Johnson, Barker, Suter, Boumeester.

        Of this group you have 3 that are significantly better than Phaneuf (Doughty, Hedman, Suter), Boumeester at around the same level, and 6 that are far less effective overall, including some out and out busts like Hickey and Barker. The scary part of it is that it wasn’t at all predictable looking back. The most hyped as can’t miss in that group were Hickey, Hedman, Doughty, and E & J Johnson. Of that can’t miss group only Doughty and Hedman lived up to the hype, and Hickey is not even an NHL calibre defensemen.

        None of this is to say that getting the first overall pick is going to cost anything short of Phaneuf, but giving up the 8th, Phaneuf and Kadri and taking on Jovo for it would be a massive massive overpayment.

        • Amen to that. Well written Danny.

        • Bouwmeester, Sutter, Hedman, Doughty and E. Johnson are all significantly better then Phaneuf IMHO. J. Johnson and Phaneuf are in about the same league. I’d give Johnson the edge just on sheer contract alone. Larsson is still developing. As is Seth Jones who had very good numbers in his first NHL season and this kid will be muuuuuuch better then Phaneuf in a season or two. Hickey I don’t even know where this guy plays anymore same with Cam Barker.

          Taking on Jovo-Cop for one year is nothing. Florida can buy him out if they need to get rid of him. Kadri, Phaneuf and the 8th overall for the 1st overall isn’t an over payment by the Leafs.

          • You have no idea what youre talking about. Wow.

      • Florida has said that Gudbranson & Bjugstad are untouchable…

    • Yuppers.

      • Potential pairings:

        Jovanovski – Reilly

        Gudbranson – Ekblad

        Franson – Gunnarson – Gleason – Ranger etc..

        • It’s funny how any mention of the Leaf current players are overpriced and generally not good potential and or otherwise. How’s this for news : Toronto Maple Leafs will stand pat and not make any moves other than Marlies promotion etc.. Happy!!

          • There are a few great trade possibilities to be made involving Toronto at this years draft. Toronto want/need to improve and Phaneuf’s name being thrown around shows that there’s value in him. Why would they shop a “worthless” player with a bad contract if there wasn’t a chance he’d bring back a good return? The people who get paid big $$$ to eat,sleep,breathe hockey 24/7 say he’s a difference maker. Fans disagree. I bet Edmonton or Calgary would welcome him in a flash.

    • That particular deal sounds ridiculous… but as a TML fan i dont hate the sounds of it. I really think T.O. gets the worse end of the deal in many aspects but it would send the msg that they are finally ready to attempt to change things up. I hate the Jovo part of it but my guess is they will have to take back a bad contract seeing as they would be sending an even worse one the other way. Im not to keen on getting rid of Kadri in this particular deal (as a “throw in”) as i feel he could be used in another trade where his value may be higher… this being said, T.O. would really have to persue a centerman or buckle on the Bolland option. I still think Orpik or equivelant could help fill the void and hopefully Ekblad is NHL ready and can eat atleast 17-18 mins. The deal would help with their cap issue and could let them explore other opportunities with UFA’s/trades etc. Am i the furthest thing from right on any of these ideas/comments? be gentle

      • i referring to the intial trade rumour… not the one involving Gardiner… thats just the highest level of silly

      • Jovo, horrible part of the deal or not only has 1 year left on his deal. Campbell has 2 years left at 7+ million. They still have 2 million on the hook for 2 years for Versteeg 1.4 million next year for Kuba’s buyout, and just took on Luongo until 2022. I honestly cannot see Florida taking on another long term bad deal in the near future.

        • The way things are going with contracts, after this summer or next summer for sure I really doubt that Phaneufs is going to be considered all that bad for very long. Again he may be overpaid a mill or so but there are, or going to be a whole lot worse coming down the road. Niskanen Letang Streit Franson Callahan Clowe Clarkson…etc etc.

          • I agree with that statement 100%. I just have to imagine that Florida is a little gun shy of pulling the trigger on any long term deals at the moment. I don’t ever confuse bad deal vs. bad player. So many current contracts out there I hate regardless of the players stats/impact. Richards, Richards, Nash, Phaneuf, Lecavalier, Letang, Sedin X’s 2, Burrows, Clowe, Weiss…..I could go on all day. I could probably find 2 bad contracts on every NHL team….Maybe they are okay today, but 3-4-6 years from now the will hurt a club.

          • Ok what do people think phaneuf is worth. All I see on this are propel over and under valuing him. In the same breath people say he is not worth a first round pick but also saying he would get more or the same on the open market if he hit free agency…the way I see it, he is worth exactly what he got. His point total is Hmong the best in the league yet he might as well play with me as his d partner. I’m not saying he is all mighty, I frequently advocate for his removal from the team but that doesn’t mean I think you would get a forth rounder for him. He is worth the slightly less than Ottawa expects from teams for spez because he is not a centre. I think that he could get, from Florida not including other parts a good prospect and a middling one. A la gudbransen and a first (not first overall but a first). A kadri-phaneuf-gardiner plus the eighth pick is worth gudbransen, the first and a huberdeau type player with a major salary dump thrown in. It is foolish to say that deal is terrible for Florida. I’d go bigger and throw in Lupal and a second

            Sorry but while I love bashing phaneuf I do not under value him. I’m a full supporter of completely rebuilding the leafs the proper way, which wasn’t done before. I know it won’t happen but still, just to let everyone rip me more ill do is….

            To Florida.
            Phaneuf, kadri, gardiner, Lupal and the rights to franson
            To Toronto.
            Huberdeau, first, petrovipc and at least one salary dump

            To Dallas.
            Kessel, jvr
            To Toronto.
            Necushkin(sp?), oleckiak, faska and a first (plus salary dump
            To calgary.
            Rights to reimer
            To Toronto.
            Third rounder
            To Carolina.
            To Toronto.
            Third round pick
            To Vancouver.
            To Toronto
            Second round pick

            This team needs to completely rebuild. It is just my opinion but the issue is the core so why not move them/some

            Thee you guys go. Hammer away. Thanks for letting me rant. Fire away!!!!!

          • Why would Vancouver give up a 2nd for Bolland, who at this point is an UFA and more than likely has an asking price that will drive him out of Toronto either way. I can’t see the Canucks paying him his asking price to play 3rd line center either.

            I don’t think that people under value Phaneuf at all. They do not like his deal, most Toronto fans feel he is overpaid as well. I think possibly he would have got 6-7 per on a shorter deal on the open market. So would have Girardi, McDonald, that doesn’t mean they are worth it. They both signed for less before their deals expired. Toronto should have held their ground. And I can’t imagine most TML fans feel different. As I’ve said a few times today (yes, I’m a broken record) I doubt at this time Florida wants a contract like Phaneuf’s. Not a knock on the player, a knock on the contract. If he isn’t worth keeping to build around in a Toronto tear down and rebuild, How is he worth it to a team like Florida 100 miles away from Toronto as far as contending?

          • Streit is not overpaid for what he brings to the team.

            He has 3 years left at $5.25. amassed 44 points in 82 games.

            He had a rough adjustment to a new team, but the second half, he was very good.

            He is worth his contract at this point.

          • Striet has always got points, 44 is apretty decent year but for him its down considerably over the past couple full seasons and not sure Id say he was ever good defensively and I think it only gets worse considering his age, give it another year its got terrible deal written all over it he is not worth over 5 mill for 4 years. If not this year then the last 2 years of his deal he will be like Liles a bottom pairing pmd making 5 mill per.

          • I disagree Shticky…

            I don’t see Streit being a bottom pairing guy at all. Not on the Flyers and not in the next 3 years.

            The team is really constructed right now for a stay at home type and a puck mover together as a team. Streit was playing better than Timonen at the end of the year, and was better than Gustafsson or MacDonald. The young guys are just too young to take his spot in the top 4, and there is no cap space to get someone better without moving others.

            Streit, while 36, was only drafted 10 years ago, and has only played 573 games in the NHL. He has little wear and tear on his body for his age. He did miss a whole season 5 years ago for a shoulder ailment, but hasn’t missed a game since. He has not had reoccurring issues with his shoulder at all. What I am getting at is that he is not a 36 year old with 1100 games in the NHL with 5 pages of injury notes.

            I think he will be fine for the last 3 years of his contract. I am comfortable keeping him, but if an offer came around, I’d listen.

            In no way would I say he has a bad contract, and in no way is it similar to a Clarkson or a Letang contract.

            The Flyers need a true #1 dman, and I wouldn’t be upset to see Coburn and Grossmann gone for draft picks. Would give us a chance to add a decent top pairing guy, and bring up Lauredson from the Phantoms for less than a million.

            What I don’t want to see is anymore of the 4-6 dmen brought in and signed. We have enough of them already.

  2. I can’t see how Spezza to the Canucks makes any sense. If they keep Kesler and go for another Cup run, then Spezza is their 3rd line centre, theoretically. If they trade Kesler to get Spezza, then they haven’t really strengthened the team much, and so are in no better position than they currently are.

    It’d be neither a rebuilding move nor a “going for it” move; just treading water. I can’t see it happening.

    • I’m sure Spezza would take over the 2nd line role. Only way the Nucks land Spezza is if they shed themselves of Kesler first. By Benning’s comments it seems he’s going to do everything in his power to make Kesler happy and remain a Cancuck.

      • Would the Canucks be a better team with Spezza instead of Kesler. IMO, no they would not.

    • As a Sens fan, Vancouver has nothing I would want in return.

      Rumours in Ottawa is that Spezza wants to play in a non-traditional hockey market. He doesn’t want to be in Canada.

      If Murray is only dealing with the Western Conference then he may be limiting his return. With Spezza being a UFA after next season he could sign in the East anyway..

      He wants to go to a contender.. Rumours in Ottawa are his top priority is St Louis.

  3. With or without a Brad Richards buyout, I think the Rangers will be parting ways with 2-3 of their UFA’s. I could see another team over paying Stralman, ditto Boyle. D. Moore, is a coin flip on a return. Of all the Ufa’s, They need to make Pouliot, Stralman their main focus. Depending on what they pay Stralman, it may indicate what their intentions for Staal are next year. Hopefully they can figure out something without blowing the roster up.

    • Ya they have a good young and fast team. IMO they should keep Richards and trade Nash. If they can’t find a suitor for him through trade just buy him out. But I’m sure they could find someone willing to take Nash. But IMO the return won’t be as good as the one Rangers gave up to get him though.

      • I like the way Richards fits on this team….today, But me and every other Ranger fan will be puking over that contract in 4 years. Nash on the other hand like you said still has value, and I think they will still be able to move him a year or 2 from now. And even if they can’t , hopefully Sather can set deals for Hagelin and Stepan to at least last until Nash’s contract is over (4 years). Richards is basically a decent 2nd line center today. 4 years from now he will have dropped to a 3-4. Which looks an awful lot like the Drury deal to me.

        • I agree on Nash. Given that he isn’t a bad player, just overpaid by a million or so, and has a reasonable term left on his deal, the Rangers should be able to trade him.

          If they held back say 0.8-1 million, teams would likely be interested in getting a big forward who has consistently been paced to 30+ goals. Also, they could look at teams looking to shed other contracts. I mean say Florida wants Nash, but needs to move salary to make it work. I think something along the lines of Campbell+ Kulikov for Nash. Campbell makes a little less than Nash, with only 2 years left, and fills Stralman’s spot and is an upgrade while Kulikov is a decent piece with potential to get back. Doesn’t necessarily have to be that trade, but you get the picture.

  4. What shocks me is that there will be a team that pays Matt Niskanen, a #4 defenseman, 5+million/year this off-season

    • Agreed.

    • I read this morning Niskanen might be getting 6+, that would be a gross overpayment for him

    • And despite the rumours I can’t see Detroit paying it. I can see Detroit making a play for Garrison if he is available, not sure who Van would take in return as there is no way Detroit offers up any one like Jurco, or Nyquist

      • if Detroit doesn’t get Niskanen for around 5 over 5 they will most likely go Boyle for 2 years as a stop gap for Ouellete/Sproul/Marchenko/Almquist to develop

    • on a good team he’s barely a #4 …

    • Do I think Matt Niskanen is a top 4 defenseman.. Yes.
      Do I think he will get overpaid.. Yes.
      Do I think the Wings are Interested.. Yes
      Do I think the Wings will overpay for him.. Depends on your definition of overpaying is.

      6 million for him is pretty outrageous. However I think if he signs a short term contract (3 years) at 4-5 million many playoff teams would be interested.

      As a wings fan I’d rather offer Niskanen a 4 year deal at 18 million than bring in a stop gap like Boyle who will likely be looking for a similar deal to that.

      However, if Niskanen is willing to accept a 4 year deal at that cap hit he will likely be resigned by the Penguins.

    • $6 million for term would seem to be an overpayment, but in terms of TOI he and Orpick were interchangeable this season, and he lead the Pens defenceman in points (essentially dead even with Letang based on per 82 games). At 27 he is entering his best years. $4.5 – 5 million per year cap hit would be reasonable and $5.5 not ridiculous. Given the expectation that the cap will continue to rise even $6 may not be far off what he will get

    • Niskanen is a top 4 defenseman. 46 points and a +46 in 81 games is pretty solid while playing over 21 minutes a game. $5-$5.5 million a year is what I’d give him.

      • What kind of numbers has he had over the past couple years or are you going to give him 5.5 mill long term based on 1 good year playing on a stacked offensive team? You know same mistake that was made with Letang.

  5. I am becoming to believe that Joe Thornton is very undervalued by reading these boards, second on the team in points to Pavelski, who hit fire when he was paired up with Thornton on a line in the later half of the year. He is great defensively, face offs and up until now I have never seen his leadership qualities questioned. The idea of taking the captaincy away to me is preposterous as he is one of the more prolific passers of all-time, 46th all time and 3rd active behind the elderly (but still awesome) jagr and Selanne, and he’s only 34. He will continue to put up 70+ points for the remainder of his current contract and I think you are kidding yourself if any of the young players less that admire the guy and respect him as a leader.

    The guy will retire with the second most assists OF ALL TIME, not a fit leader or worthy player?

    • If the price was right Id take Thronton on the Leafs. I agree with your assessment.

    • Totally agreed.

    • Thornton, another overpaid bum who never shows up when it really counts … I can clearly see why Leafs fans covet him …

      • Id argue that when it really counts for the Leafs is December on ward where if you look at Thorntons career he is quite good, if he could help them make the freaking playoffs Id judge him then. I think the Sharks play in the best division in hockey, Im not really ready to throw Thorton under the bus for not winning a cup. Id take my chances if the price was right.

        • Agreed Schticky, Thornton has had a good career and will more than likely retire a Shark, granted his playoff #’s aren’t great but he is still a very good set up guy during the regular season, look at his assist totals, if I’m Wilson I keep him.

      • edvanimpe….haha…if Thorton is overpaid and makes it to the playoffs…what do you think of the sedin sisters?

        • The Sedin sisters, wow, that’s original. You’re a funny guy, Owen.

      • Every player is a guy who doesn’t show up when it counts until that time they do. This idea that certain guys are not capable of playing in the playoffs is a little overblown. Thornton isn’t a super intense guy, so I have no doubt that his play might taper off a little in those games, but he’s still an effective player, and seeing how he is at that point in his career where teams are looking at him to bolster their top six, you don’t need him to be Yzerman in the playoffs.

        Do you think Crosby is valueless because he has a terrible track record in big games? Those clutch opportunities are such a small sample size that it’s hard to go on them too much, also you need guys to get you there too. I get wanting guys that are proven clutch performers (Toews, Malkin, Kopitar, St. Louis) but that doesn’t mean you devalue a guy completely because his track record in a small sample size doesn’t hold up well to his entire body of work. Also, those guys with those poor track records still have skill, which means they can still score a big goal when need be, ala the golden goal.

        • See Gaborik…the former overpriced disappear when it counts guy. Agreed

  6. With the rumours of lupul being one of the guys to ship out this summer I wonder if the ranger and leafs would be interested in a deal involving lupul for Nash. Have to add a little to it but with the rangers saving some cap space and still getting a top 6 forward it might just work. Lupul has stated he would welcome New York…. Just might not be so crazy

    • I’d have to say no thanks. The contract is the same in length, it only saves them 2.5 per (which will equal what Boyle will probably be looking for.) and Lupuls injury history would completely kill the deal. As Jes mentions above, I don’t think NY could ever recover the cost of acquiring Nash, But he still has some value. And as I have been stating for a few months, Nash would be better suited for a smaller market.

      • I agree lupuls injury history is going to be a big factor in any trade but he Is a top 6 and you kind of helped my point by saying the savings from the difference in cap hit is enough to resign key role players. If you look at what it’s going to take to resign or other teams have signed 3rd line guys for 2.5 to keep a big centre in Boyle is pretty good and should be done.

        • I think they would be better off buying out Richards and keeping or dealing Nash this year or next. Buying out Richards and keeping Nash frees up 6.66 million instead of 2.5. Which combined with the $16-17 they already have leaves them plenty of room to bring back Boyle, Pouliot, Zuccarello, Stralman, Moore, etc. Boyle is a 4th line guy, anything over 2.50-3.0 (3.0 being generous) it’s time to say goodbye. I know how good he looks now, but you don’t see that in the regular season. Lupul has missed 148 games out of 376 in the last 4 years. I’m not sure how trading Nash to free up 2.5 million to keep a 4th line center and bringing on a guy you can pencil in to miss 1/2 a season helps NY? The easier route is just straight up buying out Richards, and or trading Nash for a better return ….isn’t it?

          • Yep forsure..

          • Lupul really doesn’t fit in NY. The Rangers would more than likely be searching for a center in return for Nash, rather than a RW…even if Lupul wasn’t such a risk. They have Zuccarello, St. Louis and Kreider (Kreider can play either side and center) . I’m sure Stepan will be the #1 center, Brassard a likely #2 next year. I know Nash’s stock has fallen, but it hasn’t plummeted that bad yet. He is after all, on a team that doesn’t really care about scoring goals. They like a speedy 2 way game.D first, scoring 2nd. They seem to be building around that. Lupul just doesn’t seem to fit that mold. They gave up 2 – 50 point guys, a d- prospect and a 1st for Nash, I can’t see them selling him for a Lupul.
            Perfect place for Nash imo….Tampa!

          • Maybe Nash ends up in fla… I did say more would have to be added to the deal… But anyways point taken

    • That would be a horrible idea to even consider for the Rangers. They’ll definitely take a big step back with a move like that. I’d almost rather just buyout Nash instead of bringing in Lupul and his contract. I don’t think he’s ever played a full NHL season as of yet?

      • How many full seasons Nash played? He is not very much less injury prone than Lupul. Buying out Nash over trading him no matter what is foolish.

      • Realistically how many players do play full seasons? Not many… Spezza a name is being floated out like crazy is he not injury prone?

  7. 3 way deal even though they hardly happen anymore? Just starting a debate, go hockey minds, alter it all you want

    to Pitt Chris Stewart Josh Bailey Jamie Mcbain 2nd round pick Buff (31st) overall

    to Buff 5th overall pick(NYI)

    To NYI James Neal Drew Stafford Rights to Orpik

    • Now there is a very imaginable proposal … the only piece I don’t like from the Pens side is Bailey … I’ll take Matt Martin instead …

      • How many times in the past 5 years have you seen a 3 way swap that involved 7 guys and 2 picks Mr. Very Imaginable?

        • I did preface it with “3 way deal even though they hardly happen anymore? Just starting a debate, go hockey minds, alter it all you want”

          it was just for a discussion not to show the obvious point of it never happening because 3 way deals happen once every 5 years

          • Lol it wasnt directed at you bufbry didnt mean it to be rude towards your deal, I just got a kick out of Ed who normally is quite obnoxious to others for proposing deals simmilar to this yet is all on board for the deal that involves the Pens cleaning up.

          • Basically from the Pens stand point Neal and the rights to Orpik (so a top six guy and rights to negotiate with an aging 4 or 5 D man) is worth a top 6 guy with size who plays a more physical game a younger D man who is signed , a high second round pick and a pretty decent 3rd line player too boot…ummm this is not imaginable, this is a steal for the Pens.

  8. Thanks for the clarification Spector. That Phaneuf deal was a bit stinky but your insight is always appreciated.
    I have a question to ask all.
    Let’s say we change up the deal for the first overall a bit.
    To Florida
    8th overall
    Stewart Percy
    2nd rounder 2015
    To Toronto
    1st overall
    D kulilov
    If the leafs can land the first overall pick, do you think it’s possible to put together a package for Jonathan Tavares?

    • I can’t see NYI trading Tavares. He is the face of the franchise and his cap hit is probably dollar for dollar one of the best in the NHL. If not THE best in the NHL.

    • Would they but Tallon dinner first, because in that deal he gets … the short end of the stick.

  9. I have a strong hunch, but I believe Spezza will be dealt in the next couple of weeks.

    One thing I have noticed today is that on Ottawa radio, they’ve had these ads for the Casino Royale event at the Brookstreet Hotel on the 13th. This isn’t new – they’ve been playing the ads for the last 2 weeks or so. On the ads, they’ve highlighted that “you can bump elbows with” Terrell Owens, Jason Spezza and other Senators players (the Sens Foundation is a major sponsor).
    What is new today however, is that the ads are slightly different. They lead off with Terrell Owens, but then go straight to “Ottawa Senators players”. No longer are they mentioning Spezza. Could be nothing, but again, it’s pretty strange and might be a hat tip towards a trade.

    • Interesting…I will be sad to see him go, him and Hemsky were fun to watch towards the end. Spezza deserved better, but when we have a bum who doesn’t want to pay for a competitive team, what can you do.

      • Amen to that..

        The fans in this City will only settle for the ‘budget’ garbage for another year or so.

        Melnyk is getting close to 40M in new TV revenue this season, yet he is not spending a dime over what he did last season..

    • Good ears lol. I’d say very suspicious indeed! What a crazy couple of years my favourite team seems to be having. I don’t know if I should to be excited or cry.

    • Just don’t trade him to the Ducks, Sens want to much for a player who will be a expensive UFA in a year

  10. To Florida:
    Adam Larsson
    Adam Henrique

    To NJ:
    1st overall

    • I think Florida would like that deal. Getting a top 4 young defenseman with star potential and top center. Not sure if I’m New Jersey I do that though. Florida maybe adds in a mid level prospect

      • If you could ever call a player untouchable I would say Henrique is that for the devils..

        • Sincerely doubt Lou is that dumb.

  11. The most disgusting thing about these playoffs, My youngest son is an LA Kings fan!!!! It’s too bad he will have to suffer the start of his Summer being punished to his room until end.

    • But if the Kings win he will spend the summer in his room with a smile on his face thinking he is smarter than the old man.

      • lmfao!!!!!

        • Either way we can pick on my older son who is a Tampa fan 1st/ Ranger fan 2nd.

          • Hey NYR4Life at least your sons aren’t Sabres fans;)

        • I think you all need counselling.

  12. “rading away Kadri weakens them at center, especially if they fail to re-sign Dave Bolland, which could be a risky move as I’m not convinced he’s a reliable second-line center.”

    Neither is Kadri.

    • But Kadri is only 23 has got close to 100 points over the past 2 years is healthy enough to play more than half a season snd costs half of what Bolland is looking for.