NHL Rumor Mill – March 14, 2014

The latest on Ryan Kesler, Nail Yakupov, Marc Staal and J.S. Giguere. 

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Dave Ebner wonders what effect Ryan Kesler’s recent knee injury could have upon his trade value in the off-season. Noting teams weren’t willing to make big offers for a healthy Kesler before the trade deadline, he doubts those offers will improve this summer if he’s recovering from an injured knee. Ebner also noted Kesler has been plagued in recent years by hip and shoulder injuries.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a fair point. The Canucks reportedly sought a good young center, a first round pick and a top prospect for Kesler. The best reported offer came from the Penguins (Brandon Sutter, a draft pick and their choice of one of the Penguins young defense prospects other than Derrick Pouliot). If that’s still on the table come June the Canucks should seize it, as it could be the best they get.

Is Nail Yakupov playing his final season with the Oilers?

Is Nail Yakupov playing his final season with the Oilers?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cites TSN’s Darren Dreger’s recent claim Nail Yakupov is unlikely to be with the Oilers next season, adding the word is out Yakupov is available and the Oilers tried several times this season to move him. Given Yakupov’s poor performance this season, Dreger claims the winger’s market value won’t be that high. Staples suggests it doesn’t make sense to trade Yakupov if the Oilers can’t get much in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yakupov has struggled this season under coach Dallas Eakins. He’s still a very talented young player with plenty of upside but at this point he’s not showing any sign of one day becoming an elite player. I concur with Staples that it is pointless to move Yakupov if the Oilers can’t get a decent return. Give him another season under Eakins’ coaching to see if he matures and improves.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks recently called upon Rangers management not to allow Marc Staal’s contract negotiations to drag on through next season. Brooks writes the Rangers must determine if Staal wants to remain long-term in New York, noting the pull to join brothers Eric and Jordan in Carolina. If Marc intends to test next summer’s free agent market (where he’ll likely sign with the Hurricanes), he believes the Rangers should arrange a trade to Carolina this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jordan’s unwillingness to re-sign with the Penguins resulted in his trade to Carolina at the 2012 NHL draft. It’ll be interesting to see if Marc follows his brother’s path to Carolina or decides to stick long-term with the Rangers.

DENVER POST: Mike Chambers reports Colorado Avalanche goalie J.S. Giguere is hinting at retirement following this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That explains the Avs’ recent acquisition and re-signing of Reto Berra. 


  1. Let the low ball offers for Yaks begin!

    Franson and a pick.

    Gardiner straight up. (I like the first low ball offer myself)

    • Can almost smell the Oilers getting burned from someone here, why not Nonis?

    • Bet Edmonton wishing they picked Ryan Murray now seems they stink to high heaven on D.

      • At the time, the fans would have thrown a fit if the Oilers didn’t draft Yakupov. I listened to a lot of Edmonton sports radio at the time, and that seemed to be the guy everyone wanted. Now of course, everyones’ tune has changed… Revisionist’s history I guess.

        • That’s a great a way to build a team…let the fans decide! Fire Mac T and let fans vote on who to draft.

    • Oilers are desperate for D-men, start with Yaks and add something to get Alzner.
      If you put Yaks with “O” just maybe it wakes him up.

    • ……..there is low balling and there is low balling.
      Franson is serviceable but come on.
      Gardner and Leivo might intrigue them.

  2. Nail is the perfect guy for the Flyers to pick up to add to their collection of past great young talent like Chris Gratton and Alexander Daigle.

  3. Still way too early to compare Yaks to Daigle. He is just over 100 games in, could turn out to be a great player I just think the Oilers have lost all patience with the 8 year rebuild. Makes them ripe for some one to take advantage of a young player not lighting up early in his career. Id love to see Yaks and Kadri as a second line if the Leafs could swindle him away for cheap.

  4. Hey…..maybe he’ll get waived and get picked up by the Sabres – Nolan has a history of getting them most out of mediocre and young players – we could have a Russian line of Grigorenko, Yakupov and Daugavins – might not be a bad line.

  5. I get the feel that Marc is heading to Carolina (where brother Jared Staal also plays). How can they resist the allure of Eric, Jordan, Marc, & Jared all getting the chance to play together at the NHL level. Not too mention the Hurricanes actually need a guy like Marc Staal anchoring their blueline. If they can facilitate a trade this summer or at the draft I could see

    Carolina 1st (top 10), F Nathan Gerbe, D Brett Bellmore, P Jaccob Slavin

    I will tell you right now, I am aware that Staal COULD fetch more. However if it is known he ends up with the Hurricanes what is he really going to fetch? A top draft pick this year, a decent depth scoring forward reliable for 15-20 goals (maybe more with good talent), a young d-man with size, and a solid D prospect with NHL promise. I know New York would probably want someone like, Skinner, Loktionov, McGinn, Rask, or Tolchinsky but Carolina’s depth on forward just can’t afford to take the hit and they would be better to wait it out at that point.

    • I think we had this conversation a few weeks ago, I disagreed then, and I disagree now. I think if Staal can stay healthy he will get some pretty big dollars thrown his way by someone other than Carolina (If he is not re-signed by NY). There was just talk / rumors of Jordan Stall being shipped out of Carolina, So I don’t think their management has this great desire to unite the Staal brothers, just for the sake of uniting the Staal brothers. However, I’ll play along for a moment with Larry Brooks vivid imagination. Why on earth would NY trade Staal for less to Carolina if they think he will sign there anyway? To help Carolina out? NAH, I think not. If they do decide to trade him they could trade him elsewhere for more. They certainly aren’t going to help Carolina take away Staal….at a lesser asking price because Carolina wants him and Sather is feeling generous. To say “it is known he wants to go to Carolina” , would be a complete fabrication of Larry’s brilliant imagination. Staal can’t say he wants to go, and Carolina cannot discuss Staal pending free agency a year before it happens, At least not out loud! Larry Brooks has a mind for the national enquirer, not the NHL….unless of coarse he is a mind reader, he is using stupid speculation …..as usual. A 1st rounder would be a good start. I can’t see NY needing / wantingGerbe, Bellmore….Maybe Riley Nash and a 1st? That way Carolina has 4 Staals and NY 3 Nash’s? No relation to Rick Nash, But Brendon (his brother) plays in Hartford….I’m sure this looks good on paper to Larry.

      • It wasn’t me you had the convo with and you clearly missed the word ‘IF”.

    • Why not trade Staal to NYI, Snow will over pay only to discover that he won’t resign and will have to dump him at the end of the year. Good way for NYR to reclaim a first round pick they sent to Tampa and hell Staal won’t even have to house shop for another year.

      • LMAO!

  6. What about a Tyler Myers for Nail Yakupov? Would this make sense for both clubs?

    • Hey….how about RNH for Meyers? Wouldn’t this make better sense?

      • Yeah, RNH for Myers not Yak.

  7. Yaks for Myers would be a great deal. I can also see yaks going to Montreal too. Buffalo may be a better spot for him though if his skin is, in fact, thin

  8. Trading Yaks would be a mistake this early. They have a good coach that can mold that kid if he is willing to listen (re; Kadri on Marlies).
    I love the Myers for Yaks rumor because it serves both teams.
    Question, how does Bolland sign a big contract elsewhere after injury plagued seasons recently despite his Cup rings? I love how he plays…….when he plays. If I am signing cheques then I am not so excited over the risk.
    I don’t see Carolina as willing to spend top dollar again despite the Staal factor. The kid is good…when he plays…..but rumours are rampant about shaving dollars in Carolina. Perhaps N.Y. acquires a Staal instead of trading one??

  9. Yaks to Washington for Alzner/Wilson and 1rst rd pick.

    Big gamble but Ovie and Yaks together is intriguing.