NHL Rumor Mill – March 31 2014.

Latest on Martin Brodeur, Ryan Kesler, Justin Schultz, Matt Moulson and more. 

Will the Oilers re-sign Justin Schultz to a long-term extension?

Will the Oilers re-sign Justin Schultz to a long-term extension?

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes if the Oilers re-sign defenseman Justin Schultz to a long-term extension they could use Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Justin Faulk’s six-year, $29 million as a yardstick. If they opt for a bridge contract they could also use P.K. Subban’s two-year, $2.875 million annual cap hit as a comparable…Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray will revisit his interest in Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler at this year’s entry draft. Matheson believes every promising young Duck except  Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler and farm team goalie John Gibson could be available as well as their 2014 first-round pick, but not the one they got from the Senators in the Bobby Ryan deal, which could be a top-ten pick…He also speculates the Buffalo Sabres could move struggling center Mikhail Grigorenko if they select center Sam Reinhart.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers previous management invested long-term in their other young players. It remains to be seen if GM Craig MacTavish follows that route with Schultz. The bridge deal might be the better option for now… I expect the Ducks will have serious interest in Kesler, but the Canucks could prefer shipping him to an Eastern club like Pittsburgh. Ultimately it’ll depend on the return…Grigorenko has been slow to develop but perhaps could benefit with another team. It could depend, of course, on if GM Tim Murray takes Reinhart or another center with his first round pick.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo believes the Minnesota Wild’s priority this summer is to determine the status of its goaltending, particularly the health of Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis) and Niklas Backstrom (abdominal). If they believe Darcy Keumper can handle the starter’s role full time next season, they could pursue a scorer like Thomas Vanek or a free-agent defenseman. Russo doesn’t expect the Wild will re-sign Dany Heatley,  Mike Rupp, Ilya Bryzgalov “and likely not Cody McCormick.” He also speculates they could shop Kyle Brodziak this summer. As for re-signing Matt Moulson, that appears “up in the air” right now.  If the Wild pursue a defenseman via free agency, he recommends Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kuemper’s performance over the remainder of the season and into the playoffs will determine if he retains the starter’s role. He’s saved their season but has struggled of late. Moulson could be a more affordable signing for the Wild than Vanek, but as Russo suggests, that depends on how far the Wild go in the playoffs and if Moulson is a good fit over this period. 

NJ.COM: Randy Miller reports Martin Brodeur is 80 percent certain he’ll play next season and hasn’t fully ruled out returning with the Devils. Brodeur wants to see more playing time than what he received this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brodeur is no longer capable of logging big minutes as a starter. He could be an effective backup, but it depends on how many games he’s willing to sit for.  


  1. Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens was ticked that for a second time recently, an angry Oilers fan threw a jersey onto the ice during an 8-1 loss to Calgary. He took his stick, scooped up the jersey and tossed it back into the stands.

    “You pay your money, you get to do whatever you want,” Scrivens told Sportsnet. “You want to boo me, go for it. You want to jeer me, call me every name, you’re entitled. You can spit on me for all I care if I deserve it. But when I see a jersey thrown out on the ice, I’m from here, you’re not just disrespecting the guys in the room, you’re disrespecting guys who wore this jersey before us, the Messiers, the Gretzkys.”

    Sorry Ben, but if you don’t want to see Jerseys thrown onto the ice by disgusted fans, stop giving up 8 goals in a game. The Messiers and Gretzkys that wore the Oiler jersey before you were busy playing good hockey and winning Stanley Cups.

    • Yeah, but you missed the point.

      Scrivens was clear that if you ant to boo him or the guys on the team now, to go ahead.

      His anger was that that gesture shows immense disrespect to that crest and the Gretzkys and Messiers of that era by proxy.

    • Difference is Fuhr would give up 8 in a game and the Oil would score 10 !!

    • Lol your just sharing this with us now?

  2. What is a bit more playing time? He played 36 games this season … though I guess when you have played 70 or more games in like 13 seasons it can get hard. I think the best Brodeur can hope for is to manage 38-41 games in a season in more of a split role. If so he will need to land with a team that has shakey/untested goaltending. Right now the Wild, Flames, Oilers, Capitals, Sabres, Islanders, and Canucks are the teams that could be in the discussion … outside of the Wild he isn’t getting much of a playoff shot in this situation though. Brodeur could also be subject to where Miller, Hiller, Halak, Emery, Elliot end up as UFA’s and how the moving of goalies Cam Ward & James Reimer turns out. Even then he is still also in the same boat as Thomas, Nabakov, Bryzgalov, and Vokoun and there is much competition with possible young guys being called up and then more affordable 3rd tier options like Gustavsson, Clemmenson, and Montoya.

    Basically what I am saying is that the goalie market is flooded with some 5 starters and 9 back ups on the market without really talking about call-ups at all or guys like Scrivens and Kruemper actually locking down starter roles.

  3. Will the Sabres take a forward or will they go with Ekblad, given the chance? They certainly don’t need more d-men, but the usual philosophy is to go for the best player and Ekblad is increasingly being looked at as better than the others.

    • I would take Ekblad Robert. Force Edmonton’s hand in dealing their first rounder. Maybe take a shot at it ourselves.

      • It really depends on where the draft order falls. If Buffalo is number one, my guess is they tell Edmonton they will draft Ek and offer a deal to take the number 2 from them. They will then take the guy they really want which is Reinhart.
        Just IMHO.

  4. Oilers won’t fall for that scenario. Everybody in hockey knows the Sabres need offense. The Oilers would call their bluff and take one of the centers as a worst case scenario. With Reinhart in the fold, the Oilers could trade Gagner and picks for some help on D.