NHL Rumor Mill – October 12, 2013.

The latest Oilers and Maple Leafs rumors, an update on Matt Moulson, plus the Kings and Penguins could have available defensemen.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun speculates Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish will take stock of his goaltending over the next 10-15 games before deciding to look elsewhere for help. LeBrun believes defense is the bigger concern for the Oilers, expecting MacTavish could try to land a blueliner or two before the March trade deadline, drawing upon his depth in talent at forward.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers seek a tough, mean third-pairing defenseman. “Pittsburgh Penguins defencemaman Deryk Engelland’s name keeps coming up as a possibility in a trade, if not to Edmonton, somewhere else”, writes Matheson.

TORONTO SUN: Chris Stevenson reports the smooth start by Penguins rookie Olli Maatta could make Engelland or Matt Niskanen available.  He also claims the LA Kings could be ready to part ways with blueliner Alec Martinez, who’s apparently fallen out of favor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins could prefer to retain Engelland, and certainly won’t part with Niskanen with Kris Letang sidelined. It’s been rumored Simon Despres, whom the Pens demoted, could be available. Martinez isn’t a physical defenseman so he’s not a fit with the Oilers.

Could James Reimer become trade bait?

Could James Reimer become trade bait?

TORONTO STAR: Dave Feschuk suggests the current success of Jonathan Bernier in the Maple Leafs goal could make James Reimer expendable, “since there’s no point in keeping around a perfectly deal-able No. 1-calibre talent when you’ve got holes in the lineup.” Feschuk noted a number of NHL teams are seeking goaltenders and blueliners. “Wouldn’t a package of Reimer and the still-not-extended Dion Phaneuf render a choice young asset from, say, the Oilers?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Feschuk’s merely thinking out loud here.  Yes, Bernier’s off to a good start, but I don’t see the Leafs shopping Reimer right now. Bernier has never played a full season as an NHL starter, and if they trade Reimer, they’ll have to shop for an experienced backup.  Leafs GM Dave Nonis is reportedly determined to re-sign Phaneuf, so he’s not going anywhere. Maybe that changes later in the season, but not now.

ESPN.COM: Katie Strang believes NY Islanders winger Matt Moulson will get a significant raise next summer, either from the Islanders or another club via free agency. Islanders GM Garth Snow confirmed his club’s intention to re-sign Moulson, whose agent said contract discussions have not begun.  Moulson confirmed his choice is to remain an Islander.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Snow has a decent record retaining his key players, so one shouldn’t assume they’ll let him walk via free agency. As always, it’ll come down to dollars and term.


  1. If the Leafs keep winning I don’t see any significant trades happening. When will there be a better time to let your players mature and learn together then when doing so while still winning. I also don’t expect the Leafs to abandon the goalie A and goalie B philosophy so quickly by trading Reimer and putting the load squarely on Bernier for the season. The whole point of the Bernier trade was to create competition between 2 goalies.

    • I could see it at some point as, as some have said perhaps over the summer which at that point its just the rights to Riemer if its him. I think the trade deadline might get slightly more value. Again this is all assuming Bernier takes over which Im not so sure of yet.
      At some point before next year 1 wont be here cant see carrying 7-8 million dollars in goalies with all the other contracts that will have to be figured out, and I cant see either 1of these guys being happy in a rotation situation for very much longer than a season.

      • Let’s see what happens after Bernier has a couple of bad games (every goalie has them). In Toronto media you can go from darling to doghouse in 2 seconds. Remember this: Reimer should be our no. 1 he just needs a good vet backup. Why do we need to give up Frattin for Bernier? That’s stupid, what has Bernier done? Reimer has more games than him. What is Nonis thinking? Bernier plays behind the Kings defense that’s why he looks good. Reimer is better, check the save % and he plays for the Leafs. So on and so on. For now enjoy having to good goalies. Note to other teams, don’t call unless you have a great offer because we don’t have to trade anyone right now.

        • Im not saying 1 is necessarily better than the other but….

          Please stop with the save percentage argument blocking type goalies generally will have a higher save percentage than goalies that control rebounds better. You could also look at scoring chances and see that with that high save percentage Riemer gives up more scoring chances kicking rebounds out and his in ability to play the puck or catch a puck.

          Both are playing behind the same defense now and Bernier atm looks to be the stronger of the 2 shots are still pretty high but if you have noticed so far thru this point and the preseason, the highest shot totals were when Riemer is in net

          Most would say the goalie you have the best chance of winning with should be your number 1 right now that is Bernier yes that can change and its early but saying Riemer should be number 1 because he has played more or he was here first is about as wrong as saying Bernier should be the starter because he has played 3 or 4 strong games. Let it play out see how things go.

          Frattin here was a 3rd line winger here not irreplaceable imo and most others Raymond has done a better job.

          Finally Ill take Bernier Riemer over Riemer Scrivens any day of the week

        • Bernier has done nothing except win so far. I expect some team yo jump and offer a first for reimer and Toronto jump at it, as they should. They will pick up a vet to cover bernier and bobs your uncle. Done

      • Once again …everyone here gets emotionally attached to the players …if there was ever a time to get full value on Reimer it will be in the next month ! They can not make the same mistake they made with Gardiner and watch his value decrease as he may play worse with all the preasure than you have an untradeable asset
        ( which is fine as he will be a great backup for the leafs ) BUT the best trade would be now in a deal with either Gardiner or Phaneuf !

        If anyone has had an opportunity to read Lombardis comments on Bernier he states that Nonis was the ONLY GM really interested and willing to go the extra mile for the goalie !! This hows that there is a slow market for goalies and teams are not willing to make a bold move for a goalie via trade !

        It is useless keeping Reimer sitting the bench if you can get a very good asset back ! Its very clear that Bernier is a LEGIT # 1 Goalie who will play most games !
        A real GM has to play the market at the time its hot!! And right now there are several teams looking for a QUALITY tender you cant just let that slip by to improve your team !

        • 2 weeks ago you said Berniers bubble burst and claimed Reimer as the clear cut choice. Now Bernier is a “legit number 1″?? Take a breath and relax Reimer will get his chances Im sure and wont be sitting on the bench as much as you might think. Its not hurting his value right now that the other guy has a gaa under 1 and a save percentage over .95 Lets see how Reimer performs for a while once he gets back in the net. Its a long season, down the road Im sure we will move 1 but there is no hurry yet. If we need more depth there are other options that we could move before messing with the goalies.

          • Never said Rimer was the clear cut choice …I was stating however that I am a big Reimer fan and I want to see him do well in a Leaf uniform ..BUT when you look at the situation as it stands and Reimer continues to struggle under this preasure you wil be forced to do what is inevatible so its damed if you damed if you dont…..so in the end you have too as a GM.

            I would like to see both goalies do well but for the team as a whole if you have a significant way to improve and you dont cost yourself anything its an easier to make !!

      • I mean this season.

    • @ COOL B

      Iam a huge Leafs fan ..and I understand the 3-1 record but they have some big issues right now …Bernier is very much winning games for them right now ….IMO the Leafs still look like that team in game 7 last year where if they have a 2- 3 goal lead they can still blow games ….thats the biggest thing that I see that hasnt changed on the back end AT ALL !

      • Bernier is keeping them in games. Toronto has problems but why panic already? Even with these “problems” they are still winning. Let the team play together and learn. No need to make any crazy moves unless the return is equally as crazy. Trading is hypothetical, a trade might work, it might not. Winning is not hypothetical. You either win or you don’t and it’s nowhere near time to panic about not wining.

        BTW I’m glad this team looks like last year’s playoff team. That game 7 collapse was not indicative of what we saw through the entirety of the series, just a tired team that got outhustled bad for 10 minutes.

        • Cant see that happening with guys like Bolland and Raymond who are much better in a defensive role than guys like MacC and Grabo and a little more size and toughness that would actually be able to play in Clarkson. Much more battle in this team imo while not giving up of any substance also not that Bozak is great or anything but does that really happen if we have a guy who is capable of winning a draw or 2?

  2. I’ve certainly been banging the same drum as Mr. Feschuk.

    While I’d expect EDM would want TOR to take some salary back, I genuinely think this could be a win for both teams.

    Toronto gets more talent up front (I’m not saying who exactly but young and promising), and Edmonton increases its chances in the west with two very good players.

    • Hey Joseph be careful what you say …I posted this yesterday and got creamed !!

    • Toronto also weakens the position that has plagued them for almost an entire decade after a 5 game sample size of a 25 year old goalie.

      • As an oiler fan , and a leafs fan. I like the idea of getting a phaneuf and reimer. But i dont know ehat the oilers have that fit the toronto holes , they wouldnt trade a young gun except maybe yak. But yak doesnt rly fit any holes for you guys. Smid is a shutdown defensmen and makes ranger look like chop liver. But leafs want a high level forward prospect ehich, besides the one playing, is hard to find. And they wouldnt give up both yak and smid. Unless they took raymond in return also or something

        • Smid is or at least should be a top 4 guy Ranger is at best right now a 5-6 who hasnt played in the league in years… Smid should make look him look like chopped liver lol

          • Trade your number 1 d guy plus your potential starting goalie?…in 1 deal??? For a winger???(cause thats all your getting from Edmonton thats worth anything close to Dion and Reimer) Who does that? If that were to happen kiss the playoffs good bye and Nonis should be fired.

        • Hey there Back Checking, Sean & Josh.

          In my humble opinion, they traded for Bernier not because Reimer wasn’t good, but because they felt that Reimer was nearly at the peak of his ability, and that Bernier has more room to become a potential top 5 Goalie in the league. They may be wrong, Reimer might become a dominant goalie and Bernier could fade, but that’s why I believe they traded for him. And really, the “Goalie A & B is great” spin is just that, spin. They KNOW Bernier has no intention of being a 1b or 1a goalie. He wants to run with it.

          That theory being the case perse, while a 5 game sample size on its own would be concerning, Bernier has provided enough of a sample with his combined time in LA and here.

          • Agreed!

  3. There’s no point in including Feschuk articles here. No actual hockey fan ever takes him seriously and I’m not sure why the Star hires him to write on sports. He’s literally just a troll that writes negative articles to sell newspapers to angry leafs fans. And he’s so bad at it that his little knowledge of hockey and the business of hockey remains at the forefront of his articles.

    If Reimer is delegated to a backup, how much do people reasonably think it will cost to re-sign him? The Leafs are better off re-signing him and moving his new contract when they’re forced to pay Bernier.

    • Sean, Feschuk is a moron, a Simmons in training sort of speak for the Star. I believe he writes for the mouth breathers and knuckle draggers so they can fill they have a voice. I’m sure mom knows more about hockey than he does. All he is good for is doing and writing crap no one would, like calling up the mother of a player to get her to say the word concussion so he can quote her on it.

      • Lmao! Nice

  4. Engelland is much more the type of D that the Oilers should be looking for (more than Gardiner anyway) at a far lower cost but realistically he is a 6-7 D man, One would think that MacT would probably set his sights a little higher than that if he really wants to improve the blue line.

    • I will say this, letting Fistric walk is beginning to look like a bit of a mistake by MacT. Could be exactly the type of player they need.

      • I have to agree with you here …its a defender that they need in the line up right now ..big body take the man and plays hard on players infront of the net and forces the other team to keep there head up….outside of Smid they have ALL soft D men they shoudl have also taken a flyer on Hal Gill for less than a mill

        • Id probably say Ferrence isnt exactly soft either lol… last year the games I watched to me Smid was alright but seemed inconsistent and could have been one of the Oilers problems not sure if thats continuing but I dont really have that high of an opinion of Smid.

          • Ferrence is good in the corners but its not like you have to watch yourself in open Ice …..but your right Id wished the Leafs picked him up as a UFA

          • ya, mac t has made a few mistakes. signing omark, signing grebeshcov(threw up a little reminiscing that news) , picking up Macintyre, bringing us up to our contrsct limit. not picking up khudobin to challenge dubnyk after saying “anytime you question your goalie being a number one, you know theres a problem” bring in a backup instead. I like how belov turned out. big body, hard on the puck. I wish instead of ference we would have gotten a number one d but there isn’t one on the market besides phaneuf and he barely is.

            smid really isn’t a bad player he just isn’t a puck mover. and when he gets the puck all he has done for his career is give it to petry to pass it up to players because he isn’t comfortable with it. but on the powerplayhe will block every shot he can, he will be done blocking every pass, and this year he has really hit a lot more. a lot of the oilers have. id like to keep him but if we can find somebody who wants and likes him, then im okay with parting with him and yak for assets

  5. Stay the course, stay healthy and improve five-on-five play. It feels good to have a top-notch goaltending tandem. Leaf fans who were alive when the team last won the Cup will remember how important that was. Stay the course.

    • Yep…tho Im not quite that, ummmm… mature I agree imgine getting rid of one of them and a week later the one that stays pulls a groin or gets run over and gets a concussion…disaster

    • I agree with you as well !
      I am a big Reimer fan …and love the luxury of having 2 #1 goalies going down a stretch and into the playoffs …BUT ,…if there is a deal to be had that greatly improves elsewhere you have to be serious about that decision.

  6. As an oilers fan it would be nice to take miller off of buffalo’s hands. I would totally do Dubnyk and a 1st round pick to buffalo for miller. It may sound like too much going to buffalo, but realistically that’s what it would take because of buffalo’s stubborn GM, and the fact that as we already know from the Schneider situation, mactavish is ready to overpay for a good goalie. Dubnyk could split the cage with enroth for a year, then they could decide which of the two to keep for 14-15.whoever stays gets backed up my matt Hackett. And miller gets backed up by barbs. It seems like a nice situation to me

    • Anybody thought about the possibility that the Oilers need tougher forwards?
      In theory, with guys like Nick Schultz and Andrew Ference on the back end they shouldn’t be that weak to play against. Its not always about defenseman vs forwards, some defense oriented forwards cut from the cloth of a Boyd Gordon could also help the Oilers a bunch

  7. Maybe Reimer and Gardiner to the Oil? But as for the return the other way? I dunno who I’d like to see us part with. Can’t give up on Gagner, he’s a good center man. If anything, perhaps on the right side? I mean Yakupov is going to be or outta to be a first line right wing, right? So, if they can’t swing a deal that involves Hemsky? And they feel it’s still too early to give up on Yakupov, then I suppose, Eberle would have to be the one shipping out? As much as I would hate to see him go, but if we can get a decent return with a solid goaltender and a decent young d-man, then I suppose it’s worth the gamble. But, I wouldn’t go with Phaneuf though. I just don’t see him getting back on track like his early days in Calgary. If he was playing like that now, the Leafs wouldn’t let him go. I do think It might still be a little to early to hit the panic button on this team. I’m still not %100 convinced all three of our past 1st overall picks are going to turn into superstars. Well at least i’m sure we’re not going to have a team like Pittsburgh or Chicago. Even though that’s what I was telling everyone before. I think there’s curse on this Edmonton team. Hell never mind, I’d just keep the top 4 Hall, Hopkins, Eberle & Gagner. Everyone else, trade em if you can :p

    • Wow not that Bernier lookedd very good tonight but Duby looked terrible that was an awful game for both teams. Sign Bryz.
      Gardiner and Reimer arent going to be much help if your dealing one of the few bright spots on the team to get them. Im not sure but I doubt Yaks would do it not becsuse of his skill but more Im wondering if Nonis would consider him with the current Leaf coaching staff not sure Randy would want that type of player. You never know but again I dont think a Yaks for Gardiner Reimer trade does any thing for either team (maybe Ganger but hes hurt), and after tonight and seeing Duby play Im thinking The Oilers are almost maybe getting the better of that deal…