NHL Rumor Mill – June 6, 2014

The latest on Dan Boyle, Mike Richards, James Neal and Ryan Kesler, plus updates on the Maple Leafs, Jets and Flames. 

NEWSDAY/DETROIT FREE PRESS/NBC SPORTS: Arthur Staple reports the NY Islanders, having yesterday acquired defenseman Dan Boyle from the San Jose Sharks, have until the end of the month to exclusively negotiate with him. Boyle’s agent, George Bazos, said his client is open to any and all options, and intends on educating himself about the Isles in the coming days. Helene St. James reports the Detroit Red Wings could target Boyle if he becomes a UFA on July 1.  Jason Brough cited the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch claiming, prior to the Isles’ acquisition of Boyle, could attempt to acquire his rights.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Islanders are unable to negotiate a deal with Boyle before July 1 they could shop his rights for a conditional draft pick. His agent acknowledged the Lightning, one of Boyle’s former clubs, could interest his client if he becomes a free agent.  While it’s easy to assume Boyle won’t re-sign with the Islanders, the club moving to Barclays Center next summer could be used as a selling point. 

Mike Richards could be playing his final games with the Kings.

Mike Richards could be playing his final games with the Kings.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons wonders if this season could be Mike Richards’ last with the LA Kings. While he has six more seasons (at $5.75 million annually) left on his contract, his performance has declined, sparking speculation the Kings could use one of their compliance buyouts to shed his contract later this month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Kings hope to re-sign Marian Gaborik, who’s tearing it up alongside Anze Kopitar, they could buy out Richards and part of the savings toward a short-term, $5 million per season deal for Gaborik.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi recently reported sources claiming teams have already let the agent for Pittsburgh Penguins winger James Neal know they’re interested in working out a trade for him with the new Penguins general manager, whoever that may be.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to Denny for this link. While some readers could consider this tampering, Rossi is merely citing sources and hasn’t specifically named a team or a time when those discussions may have taken place. I don’t doubt there’s interest in Neal if the Penguins decide to move him.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports Canucks center Ryan Kesler met with new Canucks GM Jim Benning this week but neither side will elaborate as to what they discussed.  The Pittsburgh Penguins had serious interest in Kesler leading up to the March trade deadline. The Anaheim Ducks could also come calling if Benning decides to shop the veteran center. Kuzma believes Ducks forward Devante Smith-Pelly is untouchable but forwards Mathieu Perreault and Kyle Palmieri could be available.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect Kesler’s name to remain in the rumor mill leading up to the NHL draft weekend in three weeks time.

SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos claims the Toronto Maple Leafs Leafs remain aggressive in the NHL trade market, writing only four players (Phil Kessel, Jonathan Bernier, Tyler Bozak and Morgan Rielly) aren’t being actively shopped. Mark Spector wonders if the Winnipeg Jets, who hold the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft, might try moving it for immediate help. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff actually teased that maybe his club could be the one which makes a blockbuster move, though he acknowledged that could be difficult. Spectors suggests Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane as possible trade chips.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just because the Leafs are rumored to be actively shopping all but four players doesn’t mean they’re going to overhaul the roster and trade most of those players. Still, that suggests James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, Dion Phaneuf, James Reimer and Jake Gardiner could be in play.  As for the Jets, they have the pieces to swing a blockbuster, but is Cheveldayoff willing to make such a move? He’s resisted doing so over the past three years. 

CALGARY HERALD: Scott Cruickshank reports Flames president Brian Burke admitted his club has looked at moving up from fourth overall in the NHL Draft, exploring the availability of the first overall pick. Burke said his club won’t pay a high price for that pick.


  1. Good move if Isles can sign Boyle. He still may decide to wait until July 1 to decide.

    Ducks and Hawks after Kelser… Maybe Plekanec could be another option for 2C? What would it take to get him?

  2. i find it really hard to believe that boyle would want to go back to tampa bay, especially after the way they treated him. They lied to him, told him they really wanted him there signed him to a 6 year deal, then 2 months later or so, forced him to waive his ntc to trade him to san jose or they would put him on waivers and he would be forced to go to a bottom feeder. They treated him like scum after they told him he was part of their core.

    • IIRC, it was the previous ownership group–new at that time–who treated Boyle so shamefully. So he might be open to returning to Tampa.

  3. Eeeh not so sure unless it was a huge deal JVR is going anywhere. I think there is “shopping” and then there is seeing what value guys have around the league, nuts that they wont consider moving Bozak.

  4. Nice to see Brian Burke is letting his new gm do his job.. oh wait.

    lol. He was entertaining (and made some excellent trades) while he was here, but I’m glad he’s not trying so hard to ‘be the news’ here now.

    • I think Burke is stating the obvious, a swap of high picks and a good player is about right for the no.1 but if the Panthers are shooting for multiple pieces and players, its just not worth it. The no 1 pick would be nice but at 4 you are still going yo be able to get a very good player potential wise there is no need to blow up a young team to get another young player.

    • Excellent point! We haven’t heard from John Davidson this week, the other egomaniac, prima donna, micromanaging, media ho.

      • There are 4 top prospects that are all close in talent-then there is a drop off after that. So I don’t see the rationale for giving up a whole lot to move up from #4.

        • Affter the top 3 (Ekblad, Reinhart and Bennett) the talent level drops. After the top 5 (Draisaitl and Dal Colle the other two) the talent level drops even more.

          • I disagree, I would group Draisaitl in with others to form a top 4.

          • How many you ever see play Jes besides world jrs?

          • I completely disagree. Virtanen is a big rough goal scoring winger, Alex Tuch will be a very solid two way player in the next few years. Anthony Deangelo will quite possibly be the steal of the draft, plus you have guys like Nylander, Kapanen, Ehlers, Fleury, Ritchie and the list goes on and on. The first round of this draft is filled with very good young players that with the right amount of time could all be very good in the NHL.

            Also Draisaitl is a top 3 pick and if he does go to Edmonton will play with the likes of Perron and Gagner (if he is till there)

            1. Ekblad
            2.Reinhart, I think it should be Bennett but I like his feistiness
            3. Draisaitl
            4. Bennet
            5. DalColle.

      • And you base that harsh opinion of Davidson, who’s generally considered one of the good guys of the NHL, on what? Cite a source.

    • I wouldn’t really see this as anything to complain about with Burke. I doubt he made the call to Cruickshank to say that. He was asked a question and answered.

      • I seen Draisaitl play over a dozen games this year in the WHL live. And Reinhart a couple of times. I’m no pro scout but Draisaitl is more dynamic

  5. I would like to see the Jets shake it up. The honeymoon with the fans is over and the need to be in the playoffs. Flyers would be in line for Kane.

    • Who would come back to Winnipeg in that scenario? The Flyers are pretty tight on cap, they’d have to move assets that match the dollars.

      • Its going to take a Young player, prospect and a #1. Probably B Schenn and a prospect. Prefer it not being Laughton as he could replace Schenn on the depth chart. So maybe Sam Morin.

    • I’d take Kane from you depending on what you would want back.

      Hextall has come out saying he will hold onto draft picks and develop players properly, so the usual Flyers trade with multiple picks, etc would probably not happen.

      The Schenns come to mind, and would clear enough cap space for the Flyers to take on Kane, but I am not sure the Flyers want to move the brothers. They are both young still, and Luke has shown he can be a top 4 dman. I would also be reluctant to trade Brayden Schenn. I think his breakout year is coming.

      Couturier is untouchable right now, as he is second in ice time for forwards, has shown steady improvement offensively since his first year, and is becoming one of the top young checking centers in the league.

      Who would you be looking for to make a Kane swap happen with the Flyers?

      • It would take more then the Schenns…The Jets would get better offers for Kane I tend to think.

      • I would trade Kadri and Gardiner plus a mid round pick to the Flyers for the Schenn brothers. Luke love playing in TO and I think his brother will play well here.

        • The Schenn Brothers and 2nd rd pick for JvR and the 8th pick

          • Pfffft…

      • No Couturier no trade for Kane.
        The love affair with the potential of the Schenn brothers is long since over.

  6. i rather see the Pens try trade Letang then Neal! i really think they need to keep the better Wingers! if they have to take a HIT on Letang contract, take the hit! its WAY TO MUCH! PLUS they have to give the young “D” a chance now! I’m sure they can figure it out without losing Neal!

    • Me too. Paid way too much next year. I think the one thing overlooked by those evaluating Shero’s impact is that he grabbed a lot of high end offensive D prospects in his tenure. The idea was never to play them all and hope for the best, but rather develop them well, give them a start and then trade for what you need on the remainder of the roster, or trade for more picks/prospects so you have a continuous cycle. The Rays in MLB do that where a young star gets too expensive and he’s dealt for the seeds of the next batch of top end talent.

  7. If the Ducks are going to trade for Kesler, its going to take Palmieri, Perrault and a first to land him. I dont see that as a problem with the way DSP played in these playoffs. That frees up space for Etem to have a spot, or a trade/ FA signing for a LW/RW. The good thing is the Ducks have plenty of cap space. With Teemu retiring ($4 mil) Koivu ($3.5 Mil) (I really hope he comes back, but sounds like he is retiring) you can get someone to play with the Kesler (if that trade is completed).

    • Too much for Kessler but say it happened then Silverfberg on RW and Bonino on LW would work. Could be a really good second line

      • Agreed. With our depth, it wouldnt be a problem. However, its pretty steep. But we have the cap space to make some pretty good pick ups if we want. I wouldnt mind a handzus to take over the 4th line and be a face off guy for us. We got killed in the circle against the Kings.

  8. At least the Islanders are trying. I don’t know why players avoid playing there so much. If even one player accepted it, others would follow. It’s close to New York, it’s not that much travel to other teams… etc etc etc…

    Seems like they have to throw an awful lot at players to persuade them to play there in comparisons to the New York Rangers who just seem to look a player’s direction and suddenly they want to play for the Rags. They have the same amount of cups and the Rangers were around a hell of a lot longer. Glen Sather’s job is easy as hell.

    I just hate how the hockey market works these days… something in hockey culture has to change if players continue to favour original six markets for no real reason. Build a good team, the fans will come… but you can’t do it cuz you only get good players until they decide to buzz off to some team that had absolutely nothing to do with their development.

    • Maybe its the terrible GM? Their mediocre performance over the last many years? Up until recently no one knew weather they were gonna be in New York. And I don’t think its so much players favoring original six teams for no real reason. Chicago (playoffs), NYR (Playoffs), Detroit (Been in playoffs how many years straight?) Montreal (Playoffs), Boston (Playoffs). Toronto (Who is the last good UFA they signed?)

      • The problem is the GM and the owner. Both are incompetent. Plus they have been playing in a dump for decades now, which may account for previous players being reluctant to go there.

    • I think players avoid there as the gm is known to make some bad moves.Ownership is sorta flakey and its been a losing franchise for a long time.Veterans like Boyle wanna go to a team where they got a shot at winning now.Ive heard the arena is horrible dressing rooms suck.Maybe coaching im not sure.

    • I’d love to see Snow somewhere where the owner isn’t on his jock all the time. I don’t blame him for their problems, but rather Wang for being a lunatic. Anytime you see Snow get creative or takes a chance he tends to do well (Nabokov for example), but anytime he is getting clear direction from ownership he does poorly (I can’t prove it, but you know the Vanek deal was a Wang initiative).

      Sather is a tool. Living off the success of the 80’s (which he stumbled into) and the fact that he has this greasy NY, backroom aura of him that tends to do well there. How he hasn’t been fired 10 years ago is beyond me. Sure they’re in the finals this year but how many times did they take the conference/presidents trophy and get bounced in the 1st round? Any moron can stumble upon success if given enough time and money.

      • AJ, you hit it right on the head regarding Sather. He’s made some cagey trades- getting McDonough for Scott Gomez really stands out, though he’s also the one who signed Gomez in the first place. But he owes virtually all his success to his scouts, who have managed to find gems in the later rounds after Slats has blown the 1st rounder on a Hugh Jessiman or Dylan McIlrath. And his UFA record is absolutely atrocious. Easily the most overrated GM in the NHL.

        In years past, the Isles would definitely be completely off the radar for free agents. But they’re showing a willingness to spend this year, they move to the Barclays Centers next year, they’ve got an outstanding core of young talent, and they just recently fixed their biggest problem by getting Halak in nets. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Boyle sign there, and maybe even a return of Thomas Vanek over the summer.

    • Seriously?
      Besides the G.M., the owner, the arena, the uncertainty………
      Eliminate those aspects and the players would flock to the Island.

  9. Burke can talk all he want he has very little to offer.

    I’d love to see the Isles sign Boyle but they’ll be hard pressed to do so. But, as stated above, at least they’re trying.

    • What the Islanders are trying to do is to finish as high as possible to avoid the possibly dire consequences of the Vanek trade. Just think if they finished out of the playoffs and won the McDavid lottery. Snow would be fired on the spot!

  10. The leafs would be crazy to deal jake gardiner and a jvr… Nonis has his head up his ass! We need a real #1 center and a solid ‘dman’… They have good role players on the marlies to fill the holes. If nonis was creative, he could shed some salary, trade to draft higher without overpaying and ice a solid team! The leafs are maybe a few players away from seriously competing! Their core is actually pretty damn good! Keeping carlyle is a mistake…he is a talent killer! He only won the cup because that ducks team was loaded with talent…after that, they didn’t play as well!

    • At first I thought this aswell but…what if it involved getting a player like ROR? Or a true no. 1 center or top type D partner for Phaneuf? Id be ok with a deal along the lines of JVR a prospect like Finn or Gardiner and their first pick for ROR. This type of deal (not saying this is what it would be or would necessarily take) I would be ok with. Depends on the deal I just cant understand why Bozak is untouchable. Imo only untouchsbles should be Rielly Bernier and Kessel, besides that if it makes the team better you do it.

      • Only way you’ll get a ROR or a top defenseman is if Reilly is included in the trade.

        • Read better was just ising it as an example…lol Not arguing with ya.

        • Jes, I am not one to overvalue the Leaf players which is all too common but there is more than one deal that can be packaged to acquire ROR if the Leafs are serious.
          I agree they would have to overpay to get him but I believe Gardner and the #8 pick would form a solid foundation of any deal.

          • Throw in a young 30 goal winger to replace ROR who is under contract for 2 more years at just over 4 mill plus the 8 and Gardiner…..deal is looking pretty sweet to the Avs.

  11. Hey Spector! Kings don’t need to buyout Richards to sign Gaborik. NHL cap is going up, plus Greene and Mitchell contract is coming off the books and LA won’t be signing both players.

    • Dave, the cap is expected to rise to between $69-$70 million, leaving the Kings roughly $11-$12 million in cap space. Figure Gaborik could cost at least $5 million per. Now you’re down to $6-$7 million in cap space. Assume Lombardi will want to leave $1.5 million in available space to start the season for any call-ups or other additions. Now you’re down to $4.5 -$5.5 million. Yes, Mitchell and Greene come off the books, but they still have to be re-signed or replaced. Re-signing or replacing one of them will eat up probably between $2.5 – $3 million. Oh, and you still have to re-sign RFA Dwight King. So you see, there really isn’t sufficient space if they keep Richards and intend to re-sign Gaborik.

      • Well said Spector.

        • Ummmm actually no not well said. Assuming the cap will be $70 mill and the Kings sign Gaborik for 5 ish and then re-sign King for 2 ish, it’s also highly speculated that the Kings will be calling up Vey and a young D man like McNabb or Forbort as they are looking good. That leaves LA will $3.5 mill to sign a veteran depth D man to fill out their 23 man roster. So as you can see there is enough money to keep both Richards and Gabby, to say otherwise is just plain stupid.

          Also i’d like to point out how ridiculous it is to suggest that Richards is untradeable and that the only option the Kings have is a buyout, there are teams in the league that are so weak down the middle they would be salivating at the chance to trade for Richards (who btw is having a solid playoffs, if you have the hockey knowledge to look at other factors and not just pts, remember he plays with Lewis and Clifford who are far from scorers). You think Edmonton, Islanders, Florida, Toronto etc wouldn’t trade for him????

          • Lol tho I do kinda agree that those 4 may have interest in him, Im not sure they are going to give up much for the contract. If the kings have to hold salary or take a bad or longer contract back why not just use a compliance buy out on him and free up all the space? Its not really a knock onthe player, same as Brad Richards who is also having a pretty good play off. I get that their are intangibles about Richards but do they really outweigh the contract if he is not producing points? If he is now a 3rd or 4th line center what is he going to be in 2 years when there will be a bit of a cap crunch for the Kings. No one is suggesting he has no value but I think the general thought is his value may not be worth the contract down the road. Imnot sure no matter who it is its a great idea to have a guy on the third or fourth line with over a 5 mill caphit, even on those other teams if he is not producing points he wont be a top 6 guy for long.

  12. Bylsma just got fired.

    • Bout time imo, guess Rutherford wasnt impressed with “but he won a cup!” either.

      • I guess I’m not sure if I would have. Some of that has to fall on Crosby and Malkin and the D etc. Maybe Vancouver or Carolina will hire him?

        • I see him in Florida or Vancouver next season. Wonder if there is a blockbuster trade coming out of Pittsburgh soon?

          • I’m betting on Vancouver, the talent level is similar to the Pens and with a few minor tweeks they will be back in contention, but Kesler needs to stay.

  13. Byfuglien would have looked real nice on the Hab’s these playoffs.

    • Honestly, Markov is a better defesman than Big Buff and I’d rather have him on my team. They should consider signing him for 2 more years.

  14. Phanuef coughs up the puck, can’t hit the net, doesn’t go in the corners, doesn’t block shots, and now you (Shticky) want O’Rielly. A forward that received 2 minutes in penalties all season.

    • Lol

      • Who said anything about Phaneuf you and Jes could take reading lessons together.

        • Cant hit? He was 5th amongst d men for hits..block shots? He was 20th… Hit the net? Had the same number of goals as Suter Kulikov Yandle and Pietroangelo. For a guy who does none of those things he is in some pretty good company.

  15. “top type D partner for Phanuef” is what I read.

    • Dealing jvr plus other parts would make sense to get a top pairing type D guy for Phaneuf, to play with…there now we are getting somewhere, its just your compression, that needs work.

  16. I think the leafs go after Boyle or a player like him.Boston might be letting go of a dman I think Mcquaid ,will be available for cheap like low round pick.Buins are looking to dump some salary as they have to resign some key players.Would Kesler ever take a trade to Toronto,im not a leafs fan but they need a center badly and have a high pick plus some talent to give up.Its just my opinion but i think Kadri has to go,he is not a number 2 center.Im thinking Kadri plus the leafs first round might get him.

  17. I feel like playing Leafs GM…
    Here’s all their 1st round picks and where I feel they should be slotted (at the moment)
    As for everyone else…they are available for trade…including players on farm teams.
    1. Trade to acquire 2014 top 1-5 pick OR
    2. Keep 8th and Acquire another 1st OR
    3. FA or Trade for elite vet – keeping 1st rounders OR
    4. Do nothing – keep 1st rounders, keep drafting and keep playing (praying) AND
    5. Bring Komarov in for fun and some other goons!

    1st line: N/A – JVR – N/A – Kessel – N/A
    2nd line: Phaneuf – Lupul – Kadri – N/A – Reilly
    3rd line: Gardiner – N/A – Holland – N/A – Percy
    4th line: Ashton – Gauthier- Biggs
    Goal: Bernier – N/A

  18. Don’t want JVR going anywhere…that guy rocks..he grinds, hits, wins battles on the boards and is a great finisher too and worth every nickel he get’s paid. Leafs gave up Luke Schenn to get him..Can we please acknowledge the brilliance of that deal and let it be?