NHL Rumor Mill – May 26, 2014

The latest on Ryan Kesler, Vincent Lecavalier, Brayden Schenn, Marc-Andre Fleury, Devan Dubnyk and more. 

Ryan Kesler trade talk ramping up again.

Ryan Kesler trade talk ramping up again.

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports goalie Devan Dubnyk has returned to Alberta to be with his family and will begin training this week as he prepars to look  for a new team as an unrestricted free agent in July…Canucks new GM Jim Benning hopes to meet with center Ryan Kesler, who requested a trade. His agent won’t speak about what it could take to change Kesler’s mind or his list of preferred trade destinations (Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay), though Friedman thinks that list could change…Contract talks between the Blue Jackets and RFA Ryan Johansen are set to begin shortly…One roster change the Sharks could make is moving goalie Antti Niemi, who has a year left on his contract at $3.8 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubnyk won’t get a starter’s job anytime soon, but perhaps a club takes a chance on him as a backup. He might have to earn that through a training camp tryout…The Ducks and Penguins could be the only suitors on Kesler’s current list, so he might have to broaden it to allow for more destinations if he truly wants a trade…The Jackets will re-sign Johansen…The Sharks can try to move Niemi, but given the limited market for goalies this summer, could have a difficult time finding trade partners. 

ESPN.COM: Mike Hume suggests the Vancouver Canucks as a possible trade partner for the Florida Panthers, who are willing to shop their first round pick (first overall) in this year’s draft. Hume also lists Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler, Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf, Ottawa’s Jason Spezza and Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov as possible trade candidates this summer. He also believes the Philadelphia Flyers could be forced to trade RFA Brayden Schenn or somebody else to free up cap space this summer to re-sign Schenn. He lists the Penguins, Capitals and Islanders as three teams which could be active in this summer’s trade market. Hume pointed out Craig Custance recently suggested the Calgary Flames as a trade destination for Marc-Andre Fleury.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It would certainly be a bold move by the Canucks to deal for that first overall pick, as they would have to not only include their first round pick (sixth overall) but a quality player to land that pick. Would Kesler or Alex Edler consent to being dealt to the Panthers?  Would either guy be enough to tempt the Panthers to part with that pick?  I have my doubts Phaneuf or Yakupov are moved but Spezza certainly appears a trade possibility. I can see the Flyers trying to shed salary to re-sign Schenn, but it won’t be easy. Lots of speculation about moving Vincent Lecavalier but that could be easier said than done.  Flames management insist they’re sticking with Karri Ramo as their starter. If so, that rules them out as a destination for Fleury. 

 EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes Ryan Kesler would be a perfect fit as a shutdown center for the Ducks, who have two first round picks, a young center in Mathieu Perreault and some promising young players like Kyle Palmieri  and Emerson Etem to offer up in a return.  He believes the Ducks can offer up three pieces in a swap for Kesler. Failing that, their other trade target could be Ottawa’s Jason Spezza, though he’s not a shutdown center…Matheson also reports the Flyers hope their former coach and current Predators bench boss Peter Laviolette likes Vincent Lecavalier enough to convince Predators GM David Poile to acquire him, though such a move could mean the Flyers absorb part of Lecavalier’s contract…Matheson cites TSN’s Craig Button wondering if the Penguins could re-sign UFA defenseman Matt Niskanen with young blueliners Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot both sidelined until possibly November to shoulder surgery…Matheson speculates the Red Wings, rather than pursue Niskanen via free agency, could instead opt to sign Dan Boyle to a two-year deal…Red Wings center Joakim Andersson could be of interest for clubs in need of a number four center who’s strong in the faceoff circle…Matheson wonders if Canucks GM Jim Benning might make a deal with his old boss, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. He wonders if they might do a Kevin Bieksa-for-Brad Marchand swap, or Edler for Marchand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks have the depth in assets to acquire Kesler but it remains to be seen if Canucks GM Benning is willing to deal with a division rival…So much speculation suggesting Laviolette could try to convince David Poile to pursue Lecavalier, a 34-year-old center whose best seasons are clearly behind him with four more years at $4.5 million per season left on his contract. I think Poile’s smarter than that, or if he makes that move, he’ll want a young asset thrown into the deal. And the Flyers would have to pick up part of his salary. I don’t think Lecavalier’s the answer for the Predators’ scoring needs…Maybe the Penguins try to sign Boyle if they fail tor re-sign Niskanen?…I believe acquiring Marchand would be a disastrous move for the Canucks. Too much bad blood there between Marchand and the Canucks’ core players. 

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports Stars GM Jim Nill expects there will be plenty of moves at this year’s NHL draft.


  1. Re: Ducks – Spezza / Kessler
    This is getting QUITE old. Would rather have Ducks use the assets to upgrade the “D” like maybe Alzner or Josi, etc. Between the two would rather have Kessler over Spezza as Kessler is two years younger, has two years left on contract versus Spezza one year left. Kessler is better defensively and tougher although Speeza would give you more offense. Also Kessler is use to the extra travel west coast teams have to make and is use to going up against the big center in the west such as Thornton and the Kings down the road. Don’t like the idea of getting Spezza and then having him a year later hold out for $ 7 million x 7 years.
    Shore up the “D” instead, go after Josi.

    • to all you 29 other teams i would be leary of trying to get spezza buyer beware murray is sneaky

  2. Not sure why everyone thinks Laviolette thinks so highly of Vinny. He coached him for less than 10 games last year-so they have no real history together. I have been saying this for months-Brayden Schenn will be in play this summer.
    Spector-would Schenn, Scott Laughton and the Flyers 1st in 2014 be enough for the Panther’s #1 overall?

    • Wasn’t it Lavilotte who requested Vinny should be considered? That is what I’ve heard anyway.

      • Lavi had to watch Vinny torch his team alot when he was with the Canes in the old south east division….could have something to do with it.

    • The first pick is not worth that type of package Scott.

      I think SChenn is very much in the Flyers plans, and Laughton will our forth line center this year.

      Hextall has already said he won’t be trading young players and draft picks, but building from them.

      There is no way Hextall gives up a young player with promise (Schenn) a top prospect (Laughton…captain of team Canada last year) and their first for help coming down the road…..not a chance.

      • Laughton is going to be wasted if he is being used as a 4th liner.

        • Ekblad-will step in next year. Issue is there is no cap space to sign Schenn…and they have 5 centres for the top 3 lines. They need help on D and the wing, so 1 or 2 of the centres will need to be dealt.

          • Ekblad could maybe step in next year possibly, but I honestly doubt he will have any kind of imediate impact a year or so in the AHL to get his feet under him playing against bigger faster stronger players would probably be wise. Bennet and Rhinehart both passed him in the end of season rankings, and honestly I cant see Bennet (CHL player of the year) sticking in the NHL next year and D take longer to develop than forwards.

          • @ Shticky: “honestly I cant see Bennet (CHL player of the year) sticking in the NHL next year”

            Bennet wasn’t CHL player of the year…Mantha was.

          • Bennet was voted CHL top prospect you are right I got the 2 mixed up. I was speaking of draft eligable players.

          • @Shticky

            Ekblad is 18. He can not go to the AHL until he is 20. He would have to spend two more years in junior which is a complete waste of his talent. Ekblad will stick in the NHL next year and make an instant impact. I believe he is comparable to Seth Jones in the sense that he is already NHL ready and could compete at the level.

  3. Kesler makes zero sense in Colorado. Colorado is so deep on center that even if they lose Statsny they will still be dominate next season.

    • I could see the Avs taking a step back next year (not saying it will or be a huge step back or anything but it would not surprise me if they dropped a few spots)…whole lot of guys had career type years. If they don’t get some help on D I doubt Varlamov repeats a .920 plus sv% and some of the shooting percentages are a little out of whack for the regular season (much more normal in the playoffs where they were beat by the Wild) With the new coach and president last year I think a lot of guys played above their heads, that rah rah type us against them coaching stuff only works for so long.

      • I agree 100%. Although I think they will drop more then what you say.

      • Colorado will drop because they play in the hardest division in the league. I dont see Colorado and St louis dominating in division record. If they fall to around .500 then a bunch a of teams are in that 95-101 range.

        i see Nashville coming back ito contention so you will have at least 6 teams battling for 5 playoff spots with one tam outside. Winnipeg can also compete–it just depends on what happens with their off season moves.

  4. Spector, Why wouldn’t Kesler want to come home to Detroit? Holland is under pressure to improve this team in order to keep Babcock and the Wings have plenty of assets in Grand Rapids. Maybe Kessler could be the next Brendan Shanahan and put this team back into, at least, the conferance finals.

    • Kesler alone won’t get the Wings into the conference finals. They need defense and their goalie honestly isn’t that great.

      • I agree Detroit also needs a top 4 D man. Heck, Lidstrom would still be #1 if he was here. I have a little more confidence that Howard will be better next year. Detroit’s defense didn’t help him much last year. Maybe Weber?:) I know, but I can wish can’t I?

        • Doubt it happens but Phaneuf makes a lot of sense in Detroit, Babcocks defensive style plus a lot more help from forwards than in Toronto and rolling 4 lines not matching up quite so much like Carlyle I think its a way better ballance would really improve the way Dions game looks.

          • Sorry Shticky, but Phaneufs salary makes no sense in Detroit.

          • True…I said doubt it happens just saying he would suit their needs Gary….how does Webers salary fit in Detroit? didnt want to jump on that tho did ya?

          • I said doubt it would happen I was pointing out a couple reasons he could work out in Det. I notice you make no mention of how Webers salary wouldnt fit surprisingly enough…just the Leaf , thanks for the input Gary I didnt know about Dions contract. lol

          • I was responding to this post, Shticky:

            “Doubt it happens but Phaneuf makes a lot of sense in Detroit, Babcocks defensive style plus a lot more help from forwards than in Toronto and rolling 4 lines not matching up quite so much like Carlyle I think its a way better ballance would really improve the way Dions game looks.”

            I must have missed where it said Weber. That probably has something to do with my not mentioning Weber…maybe? Do ya think?

            Honestly, Shticky, I try to like you, but you are off the wall most of the time.

            Weber would be a hard fit too, but for a player of Weber caliber, you make it work. I don’t see that for Dion.

          • Srry for the double post I thought when it wasnt there after the moderation thing it was deleted.
            My poin Gary is that above it there was a mention of a top 4 guy someone brings up Weber knowing that its a longshot so if we are just pulling names out of a hat Dion could be a good fit in that situation I aswell said I doubt it happens. There was no mention of contracts or who would be going the other way etc. Just conversation, and your Leaf radar goes off and immediately it s “he is overpaid. … or he sucks…he has a bad attitude…he is soft” on on on with whatever is the Leaf excuse of the day…lol Seriously man we get it you think no Leaf is tradeable unless the Leafs eat half the salary and only if its for a 6th round pick. I think posts like your constant picking a part of Leaf players are as mundane as you probably feel most Leaf talk is.

          • See…..I see it a different way.

            I make a comment directed directly at a post on here about Phaneuf and the Wings. I said nothing about Dion’s style of play, his skill, or anything. I just pointed out that his salary wouldn’t work in Detroit.

            If you read through, you wouyld see I have gone off about trading the whole Canucks roster further down the page, and have been trying to rationalize Myers andf other worth on this board.

            I am not a Leaf hater. I am a Canadian, and after much of my childhood years only have the Leaf and the Habs to choose from on Saturdays, I have developed a dislike for the team for constantly being driven down our throats.

            Dude, at the end of the day, I like to discuss trades and player movement. I look at both sides..the good and the bad or each player. Most Leaf trades proposed on here are ridiculously one sided. I point that out. You dislike that.

            My comments today were:
            “Sorry Shticky, but Phaneufs salary makes no sense in Detroit.”

            I don’t see the hate. Just pointing out the logistics of the trade. It can’t be done as is due to salary. Is Dion a player to retool your whole teams pay structure for?……NO. he is not.

            Weber, on the other hand…is.

            You have no valid and winning argument here today my friend.

          • No Phaneuf doesn’t make sense for Detroit. They do need a top 4 defenseman but they need a right handed one not another lefty. Wings had 0 right handed shooting defensemen this season. We all saw at the Olympics that Babcock likes having a couple of right handed defensemen in his lineup and he has none in Detroit unless/until prospects like Sproul, Marchenko, Jensen make it (if they do). That is why rumors of Niskanen and Boyle are popping up. Other names I have read mentioned were Franson, Myers, Bieksa ect…all right handed guys that have had some rumors attached to them. So Weber would make more sense even with that salary because he is a righty too but that’s not going to happen. Would love Carlson from the Caps (Wings wanted to draft him but the Caps took him 3 picks before them) but I also don’t see them trading him anytime soon.

          • @Shticky

            Weber is the type of player who you find room for contract wise. Phaneuf is not. This is coming from a Leaf fan.

    • Detroit is on Kesler’s list so he obviously wouldn’t mind coming to hockeytown. However, the wings are relatively deep down the middle with Pav, Sheahan, Helm, Glendenning and Weiss (if he is ever health) so I don’t see much of a fit. The Wings need help on D which is no surprise. I think Edler would look great paired with DeKeyser.

      If Holland can bring someone in to improve the D, the young kids maintain their development and Howard stays healthy they can battle for a top 3 spot in their division.

  5. My opinion concerning Vancouver is that it needs to be blown up. If I were Benning I would pursue the following trades. Sedin, Sedin, Burrows and Bieksa to Florida for the Panther’s remaining 2014 draft picks (1st, 2nd, 4th and 7th). This would add veteran presence and scoring depth to the Panther’s young, developing core (Barkov, Huberdeau, Bjugstad, Gudbranson, and Kulikov) while giving the aging Sedins the secondary scoring support they will need to be successful over the next four years as their careers wind down. I believe this combination would make Florida very competitive for the next few years. I don’t believe the Sedins will be successful if they remain in Vancouver and are expected to be “the show”. I would also trade Kesler and Higgins to the Blues for Berglund, Paajarvi, Oilers 2014 2nd and Flames 2014 5th (Blues own both of those picks from previous trades). I believe Kesler and Higgins would both be good fits in St. Louis. I would then flip Berglund and Paajarvi along with Edler and Vancouver’s 2014 1st and 2nd to the Predators for Weber, Spaling and Red Wing’s 2014 2nd. Yes, I do know the Predators are saying that Weber isn’t in play. Bottom line would be Sedin, Sedin, Kesler, Edler, Bieksa, Burrows and Higgins for Weber, Spaling, two 2014 2nd round picks, a 2014 4th round pick, a 2014 5th round pick and a 2014 7th round pick plus moving up five spots in the first two rounds of the 2014 draft which provides the first overall pick. I realize this is a lot of movement and not at all likely to happen but it’s my two cents. Flame on.

    • Hilarious:) Are you sure that’s all the moves you’d make? This isn’t a video game, it’s the NHL! That trade scenario has Berglund as our First line C at the end of the day. Think before you speak.

      • Burglund is flipped to Nashville for Weber in his trade scenario. That leaves the Canucks with no first or second lines. But hey we get a ton of late round picks (*barf)….Cliff how exactly would you explain, this pile of garbage team that you have left over, to the season ticket holders?

        • To start, The Canucks would have loads of cap space to sign free agents with. Additionally, I would not consider the first overall and three second round picks “a ton of late round picks”

    • I remember smoking weed in the mornings too bud.

    • You would have destroyed your team by only taking picks back…and giving up all your good players…..sorry to say, but this is a silly option. Not even realistic.

      “Sedin, Sedin, Burrows and Bieksa to Florida for the Panther’s remaining 2014 draft picks (1st, 2nd, 4th and 7th)” Seriously??? Maybe pick two players for those picks, but all of them isn’t going to happen.

      Are you a Panthers fan by any chance?

      • No, I’m not a Panther’s fan. Nor am I a Canucks fan. The Sedins are past their prime and overpaid on their new contracts. I think a 1st overall and a 2nd for them is fair value. Burrows is old and won’t bounce back, he is overpaid on his contract and a 7th for him is fair value. I grant that a 4th for Bieksa undervalues Bieksa.

    • Wow bud your trades are way out there.

    • holy jesus, what are you even thinking. None of this would make sense even in a video game let alone the NHL. Cliff I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.

      • Ryan, You can award me no points because you, yourself are in fact pointless.

        • Cliff I tried your recommend trades in NHL 14 and was rejected for every single one. When I attempted your finaly trade my Playstation exploded!

  6. @Cliff.

    Non of your fantasy will come true.

    The Canucks are not going to trade half their team before the summer.

    Weber is worth way more than that package you mentioned.Why wouldn’t St Louis offer up a package similar?

    I know you said none will happen, and that you are right about.

    • Gary, I know the Canucks are not going to trade the entire core of their team. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. If they stick with what they have it will result in a continuing downward spiral toward less than mediocrity. The core is past it’s prime and failing. without action the Canucks will wallow in the post-seasonless company of the Flames and Oilers.

    • The Blues don’t need Weber. With Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk on the roster Weber would be a redundant waste of cap space. Additionally, the Prwedators would be less likely to trade Weber to the Blues than they would the Canucks or any other team not in their own division.

    • I disagree with you on Weber’s value. I think Edler, Berglund, Paajarvi and a First (sixth overall) for Weber and Spaling is fair value.

      • Why would the Blues add another big name defenseman?

      • And I disagree.

        Paarjarvi is struggling to make the team in either city he has played in. Berglund never seems to reach his potential.

        Edler, up until last year, was a good young dman. Today he is overpriced, and a turnover machine.

        Thisis not enough for just Weber, let along another player/ prospect.

  7. Re: Philly
    Out here in the west I don’t see much of Philly or NYI even though I do get all the games so I am not that well versed on the two teams BUT it seems to me that Philly has an age problem and a potential cap problem all the while Hextall wants to get younger. Mean while back on the Island NYI will soon be moving to Brooklyn and seem to be going backward, not forward and I’d bet that the fans are tired of losing so how about a little cap relief for Philly while getting younger and for the Islanders get some vets to help JT. Starting with Brayden Schenn for Ryan Strome. Philly saves the potential cap headache in signing him, gets younger, still will end up with a potential 2nd line center, and the Islanders will get a slightly older but more developed 2nd line center that can play lots of minutes and take some of the heat off JT. Don’t Islanders need a D-man with Visnosky getting old and McDonald gone ? Flyers toss in Colburn and Islanders comeback with Mayfield and a pick or prospect ?

    • @alforducks, the NYI are not trading Strome for Brayden Schenn. Frans Nielsen had almost 60 pts centering the 2nd line. The Isles will have Brock Nelson and Strome competing to see who takes over that 2nd line center spot and who has to move to wing. Frans Nielsen will go to the 3rd line, while Casey Cizikas centers the 4th line. isles don’t care about Philly’s cap trouble. That’s Philly’s problem.

  8. I’m all for the Canucks unloading everyone but I doubt many teams would jump at the chance to get their players. The sedins won’t be going anywhere. They seem to like it enough to finish their careers there and furthermore who has the dap space to take on around 16 million bucks. Florida might but who knows what the return would be on them.
    As for Schenn. The guy will be even better in the comming years so why not jump at the chance to get him. I’d love to see him in Toronto but there’s little chance that would happen. Phaneuf should be dumped regardless of how it will hurt the defence. The team as it stands will not be good enough to make the playoffs next year so forget trying to keep him. Franson, reimer etc should all be shopped for picks/prospects. There really isn’t, as of yet, a player available that would upgrade the leafs. When you’ve consistently lacked a number one centre and dman for years you may as we’ll try to draft one. Unless Florida is looking for a big splash a la phaneuf, kadri and the rights to franson (plus etc) for huberdeau and a pick then there’s nothing that can be done. Wait and try to draft and develop someone that will be more than a third line winger/centre.

    • Phaneuf won’t be traded anywhere. Guys horrible contract will handcuff the Leafs for a long time. Unless the Leafs are taking a good amount of money from his contract he won’t be traded.

      • Within 2 years the cap will be between 75-77 mill Im not sure how horrible of contract that is Id pay Phaneuf 7 before Id pay Niskanen Streit or MacDonald almost 6…in otherwords if the Leafs hold about 1 mill of that “horrible contract” Phaneuf moves…doubt it happens but still.

        • Striet and Macdonald are at $5.25 and $5 respectively.

          They are not close to $6million.

          Leafs will hold 1-2 million to trade Dion.

          • So you think Striet and MacDonald are worth more than Phaneuf? Is that what you mean by holding 2 mill of a 7 mill contract? Just curious … I think Phaneuf has more value than either of those guys or Niskanen. If he was UFA this year there would have been a team that would have gave him the exact same contract. He would definitely be the most sought after UFA and 7 mill of a near 70 mill cap isnt that bad in fact it less of a hit than his previous deal was going into this year (he made 6.5 mill of a 62 mill cap) If The Leafs held a mill Phaneuf would be dealt there is no way they would hold 2. On what planet is Phaneuf a 5 mill guy?

  9. Marchand to the Canucks?

    Wow it would be the first time I’d see a player on the home team get booed all 41 home games

    Insane rumor.

    • watch the leafs…we got at least 2 players that you can boooooooo for each and every year, as we do to coaches and GMs, every fifth year…like clockwork.

      • Lmao!