NHL Rumor Mill – May 23, 2014

A listing of where each club stands with their compliance buyouts, a list of which free agents the Canucks should pursue or avoid, plus the latest on the Sharks and Oilers. 

Despite his improved play this season, could Brad Richards become a buyout candidate?

Despite his improved play this season, could Brad Richards become a buyout candidate?

SPORTSNET.CA: Luke Fox has a listing of where each NHL teams stands on using their compliance buyouts before the deadline ends on June 30. Among the potential compliance buyout candidates are Buffalo’s Ville Leino, Detroit’s Jordin Tootoo, Florida’s Ed Jovanovski, Los Angeles’ Mike Richards, New Jersey’s Anton Volchenkov, NY Rangers’ Brad Richards, Tampa Bay’s Ryan Malone and Vancouver’s David Booth.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jim Jamieson lists free agents he believes new Canucks GM Jim Benning should consider pursuing and those to avoid. He considers Matt Moulson, Jussi Jokinen, Mike Santorelli, Steve Ott, Brian Boyle, James Reimer (RFA) and Dan Boyle as worth pursuing, while Thomas Vanek, Marian Gaborik, Paul Stastny, Ryan Callahan, Dany Heatley, Jonas Hiller and Mike Cammalleri on his “don’t pursue” list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d avoid Moulson as he wasn’t very impressive for the Wild in this year’s playoffs, though he was apparently nursing an injury. If they want Reimer they stand a better chance of acquiring him via trade. I concur with those on his “don’t pursue” list, for as Jamieson notes, the big knock against them is the cost. 

NBC SPORTS:  Jason Brough wonders what plans new Canucks GM Jim Benning has in store for Ryan Kesler. He was reportedly willing to waive his no-trade clause before the trade deadline for Anaheim, Colorado, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Chicago and Pittsburgh. The Ducks still seem interested in Kesler, while Brough considers the Avalanche an “interesting trade partner”, while the Blackhawks lack the cap space. It remains to be seen if the Penguins new GM (whoever it may be) has interest in Kesler. Brough speculates the Red Wings and Lightning could be interested.  It’s also possible Benning could retain Kesler.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks will have a projected $11 million in cap space, but also have all their core players under contract next season. Benning can free up cap space by using a compliance buyout on David Booth ($4.25 million). If he gets a terrific offer for Kesler he could consider it, especially if the center indicates he wants out of Vancouver. The Ducks, in my opinion, have the young assets to tempt Benning, but he might be reluctant to deal Kesler to a Conference rival. 

CSNBAYAREA.COM: Kevin Kurz reports Sharks GM Doug Wilson isn’t likely to be active in this summer’s UFA market. “It doesn’t mean we won’t add people, whether it be trades or potential free agency going forward, but if you asked me right now, I would say probably not”, said Wilson. Kurz writes of speculation Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau could be dealt this summer as Wilson plans to turn over to a younger core of players. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg. Sounds like Wilson could be busier via trades than free agency this summer. If he does shop Thornton or Marleau there will be interest in them, though given their ages and new contracts it could prove difficult to work out a deal. 

EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples doesn’t put much stock into speculation of the Oilers offering up their first round pick (third overall) plus Nail Yakupov to the Florida Panthers for the first overall pick.


  1. I think Vancouver tries to sign Miller to go along with Eddie Lack. I think Reimer ends up in Winnipeg as insurance and battle for the start with Pavelec. I think too much water has passed under the bridge and he will never be anointed the starter in Toronto, so he will move on. Trade him for a pick or prospect. I also think Budai could end up as the backup for the Leafs since he has been essentially usurped by Tokarski. That is unless the Habs want Tokarski to get another year of seasoning, or worry that he will not get enough games backing up Price next year. Budai appears to be a good team mate and I think has proven to be a solid back up. I am sure he asks for a trade if the writing is on the wall. He is affordable and a UFA next year if he does not work out.

    • Price isn’t going anywhere that is a fact. So wouldn’t it make more sense for them to trade torkarski ? Especially when like you said he won’t get much playing time and budaj is pretty much as much as you can ask for from a back up…

    • Tokarski has played 12 NHL games over the last 3 years. Barring a miracle cup run, I’m not sure he has any real value as of today. Cam Talbot has played 21 this year alone, his numbers are off the charts, outstanding. But I don’t believe he has any true value without more seasoning either.

      • One reason why Miller and Hiller will not get the contracts they want or where they want is that there are more and more good young goalies coming up each year playing for peanuts. Surprised Halak got what he got from NYI

        • I was a bit surprised the Islanders gave Halak that much as well.

          • Pretty reasonable really I thought, its not like he hasnt proven he can be a pretty solid no 1, for the most part. Seeing deals like Bernier Mason Varlamov its about right imo and nice that its only 4 years. Usually I have 0 good things to say about Snow but this could possibly be his best move ever.

          • That is a lot for a goalie who’s never won 30 games in a season before IMO. Halak’s been overrated while playing for a stacked defense first team like the Blues.

          • What was Millers excuse again? lol he was below .500 playing for that stacked Blues team. Halak looked good for the Habs and Caps too, never won 30 games I guess but never really had a chance to play over 60 always won more than he lost including Washington and Montreal and his career SV% .918 over 240 plus games is good….not really sure why hes never won 30 has anything to do with it. If you look at what other guys make who have played a little less or played a little more a short term deal 4.5 is about right. With actual numbers he is pretty proven quality.

          • Here goes Shticky…

            On a team like Blues a starting goalie should be able to get to that 30 win mark. Especially the way you are showering Halak with compliment after compliment he should be better then what he is now. Guaranteed Allen or whoever is the starter for the Blues next season will get the 30 win mark.

            He had one good playoff with the Canadiens and hasn’t had one since IMO. You just keep bringing up the Habs, that happened awhile ago man. That’s like me bringing up Miller’s past accomplishments. He’s had 7 30+ win seasons and 2 40+ win seasons, a Vezina and two Eastern Conference finals under his belt. Miller is better then Halak if you can’t see that then I dunno what to say.

          • 56 and 33 with the Habs over 3 seasons and again a sV % over .915 is better than just 1 good playoff run…St. Louis has 2 good goalies 3 near the end of Halaks time that all got games again its tough to win 30 when you are splitting starts. I think allen will be the same until he is established Elliot will get 25 plus starts. Keep going on about how easy it should be to get 30 wins in St. LOUIS but the guy who you say is better was 12 and 12 on that same team has and has a lower sv %. By quite a bit 908.
            Miller may have been the better goalie 5 years ago but right now there is a reason Halak found a job before Miller. Proven goalie affordable contract.
            No one is saying Miller hasnt had a good career but right now Halak >Miller.

  2. Funny that Kesler would accept a trade to Colorado, since he’s been so unfriendly to Matt Duchene. Thank goodness that never happened.

  3. ……..Spezza…For Kessler ????

    (waits to internet assaulted)

    • I think they could do a bit better, but Murray would be stupid not to deeply consider it.

    • Letang and a 3rd for Kesler?

      • As much as Letang would help the twins from the point, not having a good second line center means the twins will be double teamed defensively and have the hell beaten out of them.

  4. I would not be surprised if every single name on the list of potential buyouts actually happens this year.

    • Jovo would slightly surprise me in Florida…they have to get to the floor somehow depending on the players they bring in. Other than that yep I agree whole lot of free money coming to most of those guys this summer.

  5. Reimer and Franson to Edmonton for ???

    • After that Norway game, no thanks. 2 goals on just 16 shots against a week team I will pass thanks and stay with Scrivens and Fasth.

      • Not like Scrivens looked great either tho…reasons for Bernier becoming more clear? lol that was the worst I think I’ve ever seen a team Canada made up of professional players. What a joke that was.

    • No reason for the Oilers to go after Reimer. He’s not an upgrade over Fasth or Scrivens.

  6. Why would LA buy out Richards? he is playing good for the Kings and is a leader that has won at every level. There is ZERO chance the KIngs even consider it, especially when teams like Edmonton would be salivating at the chance at bringing in a leader who would easily be there 2nd line C with a boat load of leadership. So if the Kings plan on getting rid of Richards, and thats a BIG IF, they will trade him for assets, not just give him away. Oh and another thing the Kings are fine capwise and don’t need to get rid of Richards to sign Gaborik. I am so sick of these East coast Pundits who know NOTHING about the Kings, spouting off.

    • No reason for LAK, Boston, Chicago etc to make any big changes until the string runs out. Meaning something dramatic happens like Vancouver falling so far so fast.
      Until then stay the course.

  7. I think the Sabres shouldn’t buyout Leino. I believe the Sabres will have to spend a good $20 million to get to the cap floor this summer if they do end up buying him out.

    • Leino’s first two seasons in Buffalo were plagued by injuries. In his third season with Buffalo, he did not do much to benefit the team and found himself being benched as a healthy scratch for several games.

      Sabres general manager Tim Murray will need to spend money this offseason to improve the roster and field better talent and an on ice product. Keeping Leino does not appear an option here.