NHL Rumor Mill – Saturday, July 19, 2014

Top offseason goalie trade targets, plus updates on the Avalanche, Jets and Bruins. 

Could the Sharks trade Antti Niemi this summer?

Could the Sharks trade Antti Niemi this summer?

ESPN.COM: Tim Kavanagh recently listed San Jose’s Antti Niemi, Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom and Toronto’s James Reimer as this summer’s top goaltending trade targets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given how flat the market is for goaltenders this summer it’s unlikely these three will be playing elsewhere when the season starts. The Sharks hope to give Alex Stalock more playing time but they won’t part ways with Niemi until they’re sure Stalock is ready for the starter’s job. Markstrom could end up demoted again. Manitoba-born Reimer’s been linked to the Winnipeg Jets but they appear willing to start the season with Ondrej Pavelec and recently-re-signed Michael Hutchinson. The trade market for goalies might improve during training camp and preseason this September. Speaking of the Jets…

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe reports the Jets still want to add depth at forward and apparently looked at signing Lee Stempniak. Other options could include David Booth and Daniel Winnik. Wiebe also notes it’ll be interesting to see if the Jets can reach an agreement on a new contract with forward Michael Frolik before his arbitration hearing on July 31.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stempniak has reportedly signed with the New York Rangers. Wiebe believes a four-year deal worth between $12- $14 million would be a fair deal. 

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater doesn’t hold out much hope for the Colorado Avalanche and Ryan O’Reilly to reach an agreement on a new contract before his arbitration hearing on July 23. If O’Reilly accepts a one-year contract Dater feels that will make it more difficult for the Avs to get full value for him in a trade. Even if O’Reilly accepts a two-year deal, Dater believes the winger will be traded before his contract expires.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever deal O’Reilly accepts, expect the trade rumors to start up soon afterward. How long it takes to move him will depend on whatever offers they get. If they don’t trade him before this season they’ll be dogged by questions about his future.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports on the difficult choices facing the Boston Bruins in the near future. In addition to finding sufficient cap space to re-sign RFAs Reilly Smith, Torey Krug and Matt Fraser, they’ll have to re-sign David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk before their eligibility next summer for unrestricted free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins currently have nearly $47 million invested in 10 players for 2015-16. Figure it could cost around $12 million to re-sign Krejci and Boychuk, and they’ll have $59 million invested in 12 players, and that’s not counting whatever they end up paying Smith, Krug and Fraser. They’ll also have to re-sign Dougie Hamilton and either re-sign or replace UFAs Gregory Campbell, Dan Paille, Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski, and Carl Soderberg, among others. Assuming the cap increases for 2015-16 to $75 million, and of course placing Marc Savard on LTIR again, they should have enough to re-sign their key players. Depending on the cost of doing so, however, could significantly limit how much they’ll have for significant depth additions. 


  1. Jets – good luck attracting free agents to the frozen prairie, unless you overpay a guy like Matt Perreault.

    • Or start winning….

      • Yeah it’s more about the winning. A few years of winning will make Winnipeg tolerable,

    • Obviously never been to the peg

      • Lol yes Ive been there, not much different from Minnesota where Ivebeen also on some mighty cold days do you think they have problems signing UFAs aswell?

        • I’ve been to Winnipeg lots. The issue with the city is it is cold and isolated. A nice city over all but once you step out of its borders there is nothing but farm land for miles and the next largest city being Brandon and it is well under 100 000 population

          • How often do you honestly think during thr regulat season players will be playing tourist through Manitoba or any other province or state they play in? This is getting more ridiculious by the minute. If chances were good that that the Jets were going to be good for sometime and possinly run for the cup UFAs would go there, they dont need to l7ve there 365 days a year, they are millionaires cspable of having more than 1 residence, as most nhl’ers do. During the regular season there are road trips 3 or 4 games a week besides practices to keep them busy while they are at home. Winning attracts UFAs more thsn location, wiining = more money, biiger contracts. Chicaho is cold too and guys dont ho there because they would like to see some more of Illinois. Minnesota is cold Michigan is miserable Columbus is no great meca of culture and nightlife…every city has its own issues. Guys go where the money is good and they have a shot at winning.

          • You guys are preaching to choir my friends – welcome to Paradise Mr Callahan, Mr Stralman, Mr Boyle and Mr Morrow. Welcome back everyone from last year too – just say’in

    • It’s a shame the NHL has become this way. Teams in western Canada, and Canada as a whole have difficulty signing the best free agents. This impacts their ability to improve and become a contender. The best free agents all want to go to American teams. And the biggest fan bases are in Canada. No wonder a Canadian team hasn’t won a cup in 21 years, and a poor outlook in the immediate future. This situation will eventually have an impact on Canadian teams. Fans will realize that their team is nowhere close to being a contender, and may leave the sport.

      • I agree with you 100%. Also taxes are higher and Canadian dollar is lower for teams to compete. Ask Bettman if he cares.

    • Jets need a GM who isn’t afraid to make a move … this guy in there now is worthless …

      • Check out his draft picks. As a Jets fan it’s annoying that Chevy’s hesitant to make big trades and FA signings but his drafting is outstanding. He’s resigned some key guys for smart cap hits as well. Maybe he’s holding out with EKane the ungrateful to get a solid player in a 1 for 1 deal instead of a package deal of lesser players and picks

  2. Yes I have been to Winnipeg, but in the summer! Jets’ roster is pretty much the same one that left Atlanta, not much change. What will it take for the Jets to become a winner and does Chevy have the guts to pull the trigger on a deal to improve the club? Start in goal, cuz Pavs isn’t going to get the Jets to the promised land.

    • I read on Yahoo that he’s never done a player for player deal in his three seasons there as a GM. I guess that’s why most of the Jets team played for Atlanta

  3. If I were the GM of either the flames or oilers I’d be on the phone with the bruins trying to steal a player or two. Looks like the bruins will have to shed a big chunk of salary. Just a thought, maybe the bruins should entertain trading Chara. He is getting older, slower, and looked really tired towards the end of last year and the playoffs. Shedding 7.5 mil would help big time and they could get a player in return, decent pick, and prospects.
    I highly doubt a lot of players would seriously entertain going to the peg even if they were winning The jets should trade for Reimer. Since he is from Manitoba he would be an instant celebrity and just might light a fire under his butt.
    Colorado: trade O’Reilly all ready.

    • Most teams would kill for two top line centers like Stastny & ROR … and the Avs lost one for nothing and are about to deal the other for probably lesser value because they don’t have any leverage with him … and they bring in slow veterans like Iginla & Briere … they are ruining all of the good they have done this past season … shame

    • Trade Chara? And replace him with who?. Hamilton isn’t ready for that role yet

    • Reimer’s isn’t really much better then Pavalec.

      If they want to improve their goaltending they should look at Niemi. Maybe a big trade including Pavalec, Kane and Byfuglien going to California for Niemi, Pavelski + defense prospect.

      • Doubtthere is much intrest from the Sharks to downgrade in net and trade Pavelski away.

    • The only way trading chara can make the smallest bit of sense is if the bruins realize it’s been a couple years and they have top regular season teams but always find a way to lose in the playoffs and they figure that their team has gotten weaker this off season and they are in desperate need of cap space. So they can do a mini rebuild on defence. Either than that there is no way in hell they can find a reason to trade him. They are Stanley cup contenders why would they trade their best D.

  4. It’s time to move Chara an his 8million dollar cap hit out if Boston that would go along way to solving there problem

    • Chara has a ntc but would help to get his cap hit off the books.
      Big decisions after this season.
      Will have to make a move this summer to shed some salary.
      Can see Bartkowski,Maquaid and Caron moved or something bigger like Marchand or Boychuk.

  5. I agree, Winnipeg has no goalie and you can’t have that in the West. Why don’t the Avs re-sign O’reilly to a long-term deal? He’s a great all-around player and has upside still.

  6. Stempniak to the Rangers for 1 year at $900,000.

    • $850,000 too much …

      • Lol

  7. Geez…who would want Chara…a slow thug who belongs in a zoo.

    • Ya, that so called slow guy has had Boston in the play-offs every year since he’s been with the Bruins. You’re just jealous your team doesn’t have a guy like that

    • @ Johnnybo

      Ya who would want one of the best defensemen in the NHL today?

      • Obviously Ottawa! Haha

    • That makes sense who would want a 7 foot D/Norris finalist that can fit as #1 D in almost any team.

  8. Chara is going know where he is a great leader and the best shut down D- Man alive. When things get out of hand he handles himself quite well. He also scores some great goals and drives the other team crazy.

  9. I usually like the articles and comments that you post Spec, but I’ll have to take you to task for butchering Ken Wiebe..
    The article that you penned above claims that Weibe believes that Stempniak is worth 4 years up to 4mm per year! I personally didn’t think that the first player to fire a shoot-out attempt into the corner boards of the ACC is worth what he actually got. (1 year under 1 million)
    Glad I did my own follow up because it had me thinking that Wiebe knew even less than Sather when coming to player evaluations.
    Next time please quote with more accuracy or the Leafs may ask you to attempt some shoot-outs.

  10. PS,
    The amount that Wiebe was referring to was nu,beta that would make sense on a deal for Jets RFA forward Frolik.

    • Which was wh0 I was referring to (Frolik), but I can see where my comment could be misunderstood as meaning Stempniak.

  11. Sorry to hear about all the issues in Boston, seems to me there is a new Beast of the East, cap issues sound insurmountable the next 2 yrs.

    Come on Down Tampa Bay Lightning

    Our biggest problem is trying find a spot for Drouin, tough problem I know but we do have it, maybe Lyle can figure that out, as we fans can’t. As it is we don’t have enough spots for guys that were here last year or guys that should have been up last year.

    We could be a source for trades of great prospects – Connelly – Panik- for picks although Stevie has a 2 1’s next year and getting picks for players already (lost count) – stacking more may allow him to trade a ton of them to get up very very high next year, as we will be low. Just a thought, as we are still stacked at the AHL the next 2yrs with guys coming up from the last couple drafts.

    Lyle if you want to come down and help Stevie out I’ll be your tour guide around paradise – as we locals say – Damn and we live here lol

  12. @Dixon isn’t stamkos a Ufa next season, forget the rumors for him to Toronto (pipe dream) he could go anywhere meaning probably a max deal at 10+ mil a year to keep him..that hurts the cap a wee bit

    • Cap space is not an issue, we don’t have any long nasty contracts to deal with. Most of our core guys are RFA’s, Johnson and Palat just signed for 3yrs, Callahan for 5, Stralman for 5 and Drouin is a rookie. He and Hedman are the only 2 that will come up anytime soon, don’t see any issues.

      Where would he go with a better chance win the Cup?

      • You make a Valid point! and cup contenders currently now don’t have 10+ mil to dish out to a guy like Stammer, only way he’d walk is max money for a team that isn’t Tampa but he hasn’t shown discontent…but i find it hard to believe people don’t like nice weather and he probably signs mid season.

        But Also, Bishop is FA next yet? he could seek 5.5, and Hedman will get a raise also. Maybe i just hate 10+mil contracts 1/7 of team salary on 1 guy…though hes worth it.

        • wow..proof Read… Bishop Next Year!

          • Clarky
            The problems arise when teams have too many top guys that are mature and should be paid like it, and they will be – somewhere – ala Callahan – Stralman.

            Your correct – Hedman, Stamkos and Bish will get raises – although Bish has had 1 good season lets not get him in Hasek territory yet.

            Plus we have 2 potential – bomb replacements and only need 1 to pan out and he’s expendable too – Stevie Y said when he came, ” I want to build a team to be contender every year” – so far so good IMHO