NHL Rumor Mill – Saturday, May 3, 2014.

The Panthers are willing to shop the first overall pick in this year’s draft, plus the latest on the Avalanche, Red Wings, Flyers and Sharks. 

Panther GM Dale Tallon willing to shop first overall pick in 2014 NHL Draft.

Panther GM Dale Tallon willing to shop first overall pick in 2014 NHL Draft.

THE SCORE: Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon told Prime Time Sports he’s willing to deal the first overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft. “I’m looking at everything. I’m open for business,” said Tallon. “You have three options, you either take it, move back, or trade it. So that’s what we’re looking at. What’s the best deal for our future, that’s the key.” Tallon admitted he’s definitely planning on actively shopping the pick. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just because he’s willing to shop it doesn’t mean he will. He’s not going to just give that pick away, he’ll want a strong return. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he attempted to bundle that pick with another player to improve the return. Forget about him packaging that pick with Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Erik Gudbranson or Nick Bjugstad. Perhaps he might consider packaging that pick with Dmitry Kulikov, who’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. I know there’s speculation about Kulikov bolting to the KHL but his preference is staying in the NHL. 

THE DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports nobody is saying the Colorado Avalanche need an overhaul following their recent playoff elimination by the Minnesota Wild. He notes their defense needs improvement but it’s unclear where that will come from. “This year’s crop of free agents looks to be thin in quality,” writes Dater. “And some of the team’s best blue-line prospects (Chris Bigras, Duncan Siemens) might be too green to make the jump to the NHL.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems obvious to me. If free agency or promotion from within aren’t options, then they must either make a trade or stick with their current crop and hope they improve next season. They had interest this past season in Florida’s Dmitry Kulikov. Perhaps they revisit that option. And no, I don’t believe they shop pending RFA Ryan O’Reilly for a defenseman.  A possible trade chip could be winger Jamie McGinn, whose name popped up this season in the rumor mill. 

MLIVE.COM/DETROIT FREE PRESS: Pending UFAs Jonas Gustavsson and Todd Bertuzzi are open to re-signing with the Red Wings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Though Gustavsson has an injury history he played well this season as Jimmy Howard’s backup and I’ve read Wings management are interested in retaining him. Bertuzzi’s tenure with the Wings is coming to a close. At 39, his NHL career is winding down, as he managed only 16 points in 59 games. 

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Paul Holmgren will return next season as the Flyers’ GM. Holmgren also said he would grant a rival club permission to speak with his assistant GM Ron Hextall, but he’s hoping Hextall stays. Veteran blueliner Kimmo Timonen said he’d make a decision within a month if he intends to retire or return with the Flyers. Team president Ed Snider said he didn’t think the Nashville Predators will trade defenseman Shea Weber but if they did the Flyers would get in line to bid for his services.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weber is the Flyers’ White Whale. They nearly had him two years ago via offer sheet but he slipped from their grasp when the Predators matched the offer. Since then some in the Philadelphia media have been pining for a big trade to bring Weber to Philly. It’s obvious the Flyers’ front office would love to land him, but Predators GM David Poile repeatedly said he’s not moving Weber. If he changes his mind, I would expect the asking price to be Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, and either a top prospect or a first round pick.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: Curtis Pashelka reports pending UFAs Dan Boyle and Alex Stalock hope to re-sign with the San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Sharks’ stunning collapse against the Kings, they could cut Boyle loose and seek a younger blueliner via trade or free agency. Stalock shouldn’t be expensive to re-sign. The bigger question is if they keep Niemi and Stalock for next season, trade Niemi and re-sign Stalock, or dump both and seek other options between the pipes. 


  1. Hmm Phaneuf and the 8th overall for the first…then posibly replace Phaneuf with Fayne or another ufa.

    • I wouldn’t hold your breathe on that one, I doubt Phaneuf is the player they are looking to obtain to help improve their club with the #1 overall pick. Really after you draft Bennett, Reinhart, Ekblad, Dal Colle, Draiosatil, and Nylander the draft is pretty weak (IMO).

      I would expect the teams that make serious bids for that first overall pick are:

      Edmonton – Looking to move up to ensure Ekblad
      Winnipeg – Who have some good parts they seem willing to move and need some more star impact as their current youth isn’t working
      Carolina or Vancouver – Both need a good young prospect and can just move up or have the pieces to straight out obtain
      Nashville – Might try to move up to get a Bennett or a Reinhart to get a strong forward

      Those 5 teams to me are the ones who will be the serious bidders and even then I would expect on Carolina or Vancouver would consider the option of not just moving up, but obtaining.

      • I still would like Winnipeg to trade E. Kane to Buffalo for Tyler Meyers and #39 and then have Bflo trade Ehrhoff and #31 for their #3 pick. I know it is a lot to “wish” for, but Ehrhoff can log a lot of minutes for you, is a veteran presence and is pretty durable. He’d be a good anchor for Edmonton. Tyler Meyers for Kane – Meyers is young and while he has lost his way over the past couple of years, he is starting to regain the form that won him the Calder Cup back in his freshmen year. He is locked in at a reasonable price and could allow the Jets to move Byfuglien to another team for some offensive assets.

        • @Steve, really can’t see the Jets moving Kane for a D man like Meyers and a second rounder in a weak draft. They’d get much better offers for a promising young power forward like Kane. More likely they could offer up one of their stud D prospects and one of those first rounders they’ve acquired either this year or next. Perhaps the Isles pick at #5 if they give it up.

          The Oilers do need an experienced D man but I seriously doubt that Erhoff plus a second nets you the #3 pick. The deal you offered may get you Gagner and a pick but likely not the Oils first.

          As a Sabres fan would you rather have the Isles pick this year or next? This yesr is #5 and looks to be a solid player. Next year is a better draft but who knows where that pick lands.

        • Stud power forward Kane for a soft, mistake prone d-man … vomited in my mouth after reading that one …

      • Not that Im “holding my breath” but its a move of 7 picks not 15 or 20, Florida has lots of cap room, Tallon thinks the draft is good soh he still gets a good pick plus Phaneuf and Gundbranson I think would be a very good top pair so the Panthers get a guy who plays 25 mins a night plus still pick in the top 10.
        I agree about the draft raft not seeming to be very deep apparently Tallon feels different. Its not about getting rid of Phaneuf he is a very good D man playing top lines with guys like Kostka Gunnerson and Gleason, in Florida Ithink he would actually be way more effective with a guy like Gundbranson. Leafs shed some salary to pick up a guy like Fayne who is way more a stay at home type big defender to play with Gardiner and still have a bit of money left over. Buy Gleason out and rebuild the blueline with another affrordable ufa.

        • @Shticky I agree that Dion is a solid D man but that contract pays him like a superstar. Florida could likely afford it but I suspect the Leafs need to retain some salary if they want to move him. Sseems like a steep drop off after picks 4 – 6 (after the steep dropoff after picks 1-4) so not sure about the relative value of the picks in question.

          • With this years draft Im not sure it is as much of a drop off as it is about the overall talent not being as strong in prior years. 7 mill is not even 10 % of the cap the Panthers would have lots pf room. It may not be enough (its as drastic as Id go if I was the Leafs) but I could see both getting benifit from a deal such as this again its a top 10 pick and a guy who immediately comes in and plays 25 mins a night on your top pair with Gundbranson. Doubt Tallon gets much better of an offer no one besides maybe the Leafs (doubt they would aswell) would offer up that much for just the pick which is probably why the speculation of Kulikov being included to sweeten the pot.

    • I was going to suggest the same thing but I figured I would get the same onslaught of “leaf fans overvaluing their players”. I like Phaneuf and change for Kulikov.

      • I don’t think he got an onslaught at all … for the most part it was merely pointing out that the value of this draft is so low that it probably would not fly …

    • As a leafs fan I would do it in a heartbeat, but I doubt Tallon would.
      On the other side the Panthers have a lot of cap space and their player with highest cap hit (Campbell) is only signed for two more years. So cap space is not the problem, even in the future.
      It will be interesting to see if Tallon trade the #1 and what it will cost to get it.

    • Phaneuf & a 1 for the first overall??? pass the crack pipe over here, I’m dry … you are delusional …

      • With the way you express yourself most could already probably tell that you really are a crack head Ed. Guess that seals it. You dont need to be grumpy because you are “dry” and going thru withdrawl and “puking in your mouth”.
        Tallon could keep the pick draft Ekblad and if he is lucky he wont be fired in the next couple years before Ekblad makes any kind of impact, or he could still have a top 10 to draft a pretty decent young D man (8th pick) plus have Phaneuf to play on his top pair. Really not that delusional. Doubt it happens but its an idea that could fit both teams.

  2. I think the Sharks should part ways with Niemi but keep Stalock, he is reliable for what he does and there is a lot of options out there for the Sharks via UFA or trade. With Stalock only being 26 I’d explore bringing in Hiller or Miller on 2-3 year contracts at max and have them take the net.

    Colorado could be one team that makes a splash this summer and I wonder if it could be attempting to target Vancouver defenseman Alexander Edler. A package that includes their own first round pick and promising forward Jamie McGinn could be something the Canucks are willing to listen to. However at the same time we have to recognize that a lot of teams are seeking defense but not a lot of teams are moving defense.

  3. Think Grigorenko + Ehrhoff + two second picks owned by the Sabres could get Fla’s nr. 1 pick?

    • Nope. Replace those two second rounders with the 2nd overall pick, then maybe.

    • Too Much -Ehrhoff and #31 should be good enough.

    • @Robert…
      Are you serious?? Grigorenko plus Ehrhoff and 2nds for the first overall…when they have the number 2 slot already???

      That is absolutely insane. MASSIVE overpayment. Never ever going to happen.

      Your adjustment the the initial trade offer is just as bad if not worse.

      Do both you guys think Tim Murray is stupid? Garth Snow would even make those trades.

      • Agreed with The Man thats a backwards move.

  4. From Ducks point of view, right after their playoff year ends I’d attempt
    1) Palmieri, #10 pick in draft (Ottawa’s), and Ducks Second Round Pick ( 55-60ish ) To Florida
    For #1 overall + Signing rights for Kulikov. I would then draft Ekblad
    Florida drops 9 slots but gains a forward that still have scoring potential + a second
    2) Trade the signing rights of Hiller to Calgary for signing rights of Cammalleri,
    Cammalleri just might fit in nicely next to Gerzlaf & Perry
    3) Call up Dallas and see if the will take a late round pick for Tim Thomas.
    Thomas can be the baby sitter and insurance policy for Andersen & Gibson.

    By the way when Tallon is saying that he is willing to trade down, he is telling the world that no one is
    a real stand out and might as will get two for the price of one OR he is lying thru his teeth which most
    GM’s do when talking out loud.

    • I get a funny feeling (though I do hope I am wrong) that Ottawa will be drafting with the 10th overall, when it comes back as part of a Spezza deal to the Ducks.
      I do like your suggestion on getting Cammaleri out of Calgary, but I don’t think Burke is looking at Hiller myself.

      • JJB
        Hope you wrong about Spezza, don’t want another high priced problem.
        The more I watch Bonino the better I like him as #2 center on Ducks for a long time at a reasonable price. As for Ducks the only thing I would spend assets on getting is a “D” man.