NHL Rumor Mill – Monday, April 8, 2013.

The NHL Trade Deadline is over, but the trade and free agent rumors go on. 

Could Dany Heatley become a buyout candidate?

Could Dany Heatley become a buyout candidate?

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson toyed with the idea of trading defenseman Dan Boyle prior to the club’s recent winning streak. Garrioch suggests Wilson can revisit trading Boyle, who has one year left at $6.6 million, in the off-season…There’s a belief Ryane Clowe could re-sign with the NY Rangers…The Winnipeg Jets tried unsuccessfully to move young center Alex Burmistrov, who isn’t coach Claude Noel’s cup of tea. Garrioch claims the Sabres passed on shipping Drew Stafford to Winnipeg for Burmistrov…The Coyotes tested the trade waters on defenseman Keith Yandle, but he didn’t move because they set the asking price high. Garrioch believes he could move this summer…Minnesota Wild winger Dany Heatley could be a buyout candidate this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boyle can provide a list of eight teams he won’t accept being dealt to, but ultimately his future could depend on if the Sharks make the playoffs, and how far they advance…If Clowe keeps his salary demands reasonable (and I have a tough time believing he sought an eight-year deal), the Rangers could re-sign him…I have a hard time believing the Sabres would take on a struggling Drew Stafford, who has two years and $8 million remaining on his contract. Not a smart move for a financially responsible team like the Jets…If the Coyotes do trade Yandle, they’ll want at least a good young scoring forward as part of the return. Can’t blame ’em for setting the asking price high. Teams which won’t pay it at this point in the season (hello there, Philadelphia Flyers) could be more interested this summer…For those interested in Heatley’s buyout calculation, check it out here. If they go the compliance buyout, the same calculation applies, only it won’t count against the Wild’s cap. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl and Mike Harrington reported Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott hope to speak with Sabres GM Darcy Regier regarding his rebuilding plans. Regier has suggested the process could take years, which might not fit well into the future plans of Miller (32), Vanek (30) and Ott (30), who all have one season remaining on their respective contracts.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on this later today in my THN.com column. It’s possible all three could be on the trade block this summer.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: cited a report from the Miami Herald that Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss claimed his agent and GM Dale Tallon have resumed contract talks. Weiss is eligible for UFA status this summer, but he claimed contract talks were going well, and he would love to finish his career with the Panthers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting development on Weiss, whom most observers assumed would depart the Panthers via free agency this summer. He’s coming off a six-year, $18.6 million contract worth an average annual salary of $3.1 million, but his actual salary for this season is $4.1 million. He’ll obviously seek a raise (I’m guessing between $5-$6 million per) and will get it either from the Panthers or somebody else this summer in the UFA market.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports the Toronto Maple Leafs listened to offers for defenseman Carl Gunnarson but weren’t impressed with any of them. Gunnarson is a restricted free agent this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gunnarsson won’t cost much to re-sign, but I wonder if he could become trade bait, singly or perhaps in a package deal for a goalie if GM Dave Nonis still feels the need to land a veteran goalie in the off-season.


  1. Leafs need to re-sign their RFA’s before the playoffs. I’m not sure why I have a different take on what each of these RFA’s will want but Gunnarson I believe will ask for between$3M and $3.5M.
    I base this on these facts:
    1. he is playing along side Phaneuf on the top pairing after trying almost everyother D man in that slot unsuccessfully.
    2. Phaneuf is making $6.5M so what is his partner worth? (Leafs did not sign Phaneuf for this amount but were more then willing to take him on at this price)
    3. The Leafs re-signed Liles at $3.875M for 4 years and he has been a healthy scratch this season
    4. When the Leafs re-signed Schenn they gave him $3.6M for 5 years and he got run out of town
    5. Leafs signed Komi for $4.5M for 5 years as a UFA and we all know where he ended up.
    With all these examples I don’t know how anyone could think Gunnar’s agent will ask for anything less. Do I want to pay him $3-$3.5M? Absolutely not but I can’t see the Leafs getting away any cheaper. Looks like he will have to be moved.

    • No way. You make them play hard in the playoffs to earn a better salary. Giving them a raise now and going through contract negotiations could be a distraction.

  2. Garrioch makes it sound as though the Coyotes were shopping Keith Yandle, when it’s been reported for over a year that he is available for an overpayment. The Coyotes are still in the hunt for a playoff berth and KY has picked up his play as of lately. It was not likely they were going to trade him unless players would come back that would improve their current roster and improve their chances for a playoff run. Yandle will probably be moved at the draft.

  3. Welcome Back,

    Interesting that leafs would really get any interest in Gunner, since he publicly stated, he will not be a 100 percent this season. Not saying he’s not worth anything I am just shocked with the plethora of d-man leafs have he was the one that was discussed. I know Nonis Made an offer for Luongo, the latest I heard was 2 (second rounders) and Scrivens, plus Gillis would half to eat some of Lu’s contract. any Truth to this?? just wondering what part of the contract did Nonis ask for???

  4. Gillis put himself in a deep hole with Luongo.

    With the way Markstrom has played, a Luongo to Panthers scenario seems more and more unlikely as Markstrom plays more.

    Toronto should put more faith in their current goaltending.

    I think the one team that could really, really use Luongo is Colorado. Varlamov is just not capable of becoming a consistent starter.

  5. I truly believe that Carl Gunnarson has not recovered fully from his injuries of last year. His skating does not compare to his previous level. Hopefully he gets back to where he was – he was a solid defender and an excellent first-pass D man – not now, everything is rushed because he’s slow to the puck.

  6. With the cap dropping next year, and it being the final year of Thornton, Marleau, Boyles’ contracts, it guarantees that at least one will be out the door. Unless Wilson can pull a rabbit out of his hat in the form of extra cap space, they will either have to accept less $$ in their next contract, or one will not get to retire as a Shark in CA. I bet it will be Marleau how takes less too

  7. I really don’t think that the “rebuilding” up in Buffalo is a total rebuild – I like to think of it more like an attitude adjustment – trading complancy for energy, fire and the desire to win. With our youngsters ready to make the move to the NHL, I think the team is a couple of tweaks from turning things around. Let’s face it, our core was rotten and they got comfortable with mediocre performance. Our D looked confused and Pommer was not the leader we thought he would/could be. Like Gaustad, Pommer didn’t want to get physical and go to the dirty places – didn’t like to go to the net and we now find out that he didn’t like playing the blue line – just where did he want to play? Stafford, yes, he is streaky, but throughout most of the season I always got the impression he was late to the play/puck – since being benched – it looks like he has stepped up his game and is being more like the “A” that we thought he could be. So Miller, Vanek and Ott want to find out what’s going on – I had read about Miller and Vanek, but Ott? I say give Ott the “C” and get what you can for Miller (Niemi, Hiller or Bernier). Vanek needs to decide which ship he is gonna sail with because the problem with Vanek is that he puts a lot of pressure on himself and wears his emotion on his face and through his body language. I think Lindy has made him a better player and given him a tougher skin – but he just isn’t Captain material. I like his effort and I think he would be a great contributor for the team to retain, but if he doesn’t want to be in Buffalo – then let’s get what we can for him. Thing is, based on the past number of trade, I know Darcy is gonna get the best return for whomever he trades – so I’m not too worried or scared of a “rebuilding” effort.

  8. With the falling cap coming this Sept, I anticipate many compliance buyouts and the RFA’s or UFA’s are in for a shock if they believe big paydays like in previous years are on the horizon for them because they likely aren’t.

    While I agree that some GM”s, who shall remain nameless, will still pay whatever & allow themselves to become pawns in supply/demand game of pro hockey, I believe that eventually there will be created a salary structure model that all GM”s employ as working fodder whereby performance achievements reached by a player trigger larger paydays based on performance. In short, base salary plus incentive pay based on achievement.

    In the end, like all of us who comment on this website, you, me, all of us, are most often rewarded with wage increases based on performance and contribution factors and eventually, for this league, any league of pro sports to survive for that matter, some semblance of this will have to emerge.

  9. I looked at the buyout calculator you had a link to…..try doing it for Crosby or Stamkos…it says the buyout would be 1/3 of remaining salary. Is this correct? I was sure the buyout was 2/3? Am I wrong?

    • Darryl: Crosby and Stamkos fall under the “25 & younger” rule. If a player is bought out at or before his 25th birthday, the buyout is at one-third, rather than two-thirds, the remaining value.

      • Thanks…I did not know that…much appreciated…..

  10. spector my understanding of a compliance buyout is that the player is paid at 100% of the remainding contract he receives a check paid in full