NHL Rumor Mill – Thursday, May 30, 2013.

The latest on Martin Havlat, the Devils key free agents, Ilya Bryzgalov and Bryan Bickell.

Could Martin Havlat become a buyout candidate?

Could Martin Havlat become a buyout candidate?

MERCURYNEWS.COM: Tim Kawakami presumes the San Jose Sharks could either trade or buy out winger Martin Havlat in the off-season. Havlat is owed $1o million over the next two seasons, and Kawakami believes they’ll try to trade him to anyone willing to take on that money; otherwise, he could become a compliance buyout candidate.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering Havlat’s injury history, I doubt the Sharks find many takers unless they’re willing to pick up part of that salary. He could receive a compliance buyout, but he missed most of this year’s playoffs to a lower body injury (suspected groin or hip injury), and if he’s not medically cleared by the buyout period (48 hours from the end of the Stanley Cup Final up to July 4), he would be ineligible for a buyout.

NORTHJERSEY.COM/NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello confirmed he’s opened contract talks with his key UFAs (Patrik Elias, David Clarkson and Dainius Zubrus) and has been talking to the agents for Marek Zidlicky and Peter Harrold. His stated objective is to re-sign them prior to July 5th, the opening day of the UFA market. The Devils won’t be re-signing UFA forwards Steve Sullivan and Matt D’Agostini.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lamoriello has the cap space to re-sign most, if not all, of his key free agents, but of course it remains to be seen if they intend to re-sign or test the market. No surprise they’re cutting ties with Sullvan and D’Agostini. The former could be facing retirement, while the latter could face continuing his playing career in Europe.

PHILLYBURBS.COM: Wayne Fish recently examined the pros and cons of retaining or buying out Ilya Bryzgalov.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If GM Paul Holmgren can lay his hands on a better, cheaper netminder prior to the end of the compliance buyout period, I believe Bryzgalov will be a goner.

ESPN.COM: Craig Custance recently reported on how Bryan Bickell’s post-season performance is upping the cost for the Blackhawks to re-sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Should Bickell hit this summer’s UFA market he’ll find no shortage of suitors willing to make him a very wealthy player. He could be looking at Brandon Prust dollars


  1. Marty’s days being a high priced/value have diminished over the past 2 years. he is injury proned, and when in the line-up has not produced like he use to. I can see a few teams taking a chance with him if bought out at 2-2.25 knowing he will miss a good chunk of time and oonly put up 40 points.

    As a leafs fan, we must hope Mr. Lamerello does not back up the money truck to Mr.Clarkson’s, door. From past Lou has not been like that, but after losing parise, and brodeur probably playing in his last season next year, he might be willing to overpay to keep his talent with the team.

  2. I agree that Lamorello is not afraid to take on big money (Kovalchuck) and he’s no slouch when it comes to obtaining and retaining good talent (arguably one of the best GMs out there). Odds are, unless Clarkson is determined to get out of NJ, he’ll probably re-sign.
    I still don’t see that much value in Bickell, everyone turns on the overdrive during the playoffs, his regular season numbers are not that impressive.
    If the Sharks manage to buy out Havlat, he will be lucky to get another contract above $2 Million, his injuries are too much of a risk, and I don’t think there are many teams willing to take on such a risk, especially with the lower cap limit.
    I also believe the writing’s already on the wall for Bryzgalov considering all the off-ice drama, he’s just waiting for the money truck to arrive so he can hit the open market.

    • Bickell scored over 20 points this season as a third liner. He’s a big body that teams need. I could see him getting 3 mil/season. Can he continue that success how knows but we all know GM’s overpay. I think PHI hangs onto Bryz for one more season. They will buyout Briere. They need defense.

      • I’d rather Bickell then Clarkson….. Essentially the same player, Clarkson gets a few more points sure but also gets alot more oppertunity on NJ compared to Brickell behind all the depth in Chicago plus as Hawkes4life was saying probably sign him for 3 mill where I’m almost willing to bet Clarkson will get way overpaid by someone and will be looking at more like 5.5 mill Gms get stupid this time of year don’t forget….

  3. How many dollars has Marty Havlat scammed owners out of – perpetual bust. Probably the only thing Ottawa has got right in recent memory. Everyone is so quick to point out all the mistakes of Leafs management…how about the Sens…Redden over Chara…? Taking a recently signed long term Hossa and flipping him for issues laden Heatley- how did that turn out…Mistakes happen at all levels from all teams….Sather….most overrated GM ever Drury then Gomez, the Gaborik, then Richards….Montreal then trading McDonaugh for bust Gomez….the Flyers…nuff said

    • Only thing ottawa has done right? what about acquiring anderson for elliot? i’m not a fan of the sens but there are good moves by there current gm.

      sather is a turd. but signing gaborik was a good idea, not his fault that he was shunned by his coach game in game out. just look what he did for cbj down the stretch.

      you forgot gillis in your gm rant. hodgson for kassian? booth? ballard? luongo contract and trade situation?

      • Haha yes fair enough, my point was merely that every Leaf GM error is magnified while other teams are overlooked. Gillis definitely fits the bill.

        • Toronto’s record over the past 10 years speaks for itself.

          • Think the point was there just as bad judgment in other places just people like you love to point out Toronto…

        • And what was wrong with Heatley in Ottawa? He did have a 50 goal season, and helped them to the Stanley Cup finals

          • Yes.. but at the cost of Hossa being blindsided in that trade.. which lead to Chara leaving as he was upset with Muckler at what he did…

    • The issue I had with the Havlat trade was he was basically given away for nothing.. Barinka (played just a few games in the AHL and went back to Europe). Hennessey played about a year or two in the AHL with a couple of NHL games. Preissing.. played one season.. then nothing else. Muckler couldn’t trade and he couldn’t draft.. but he was good about giving away players for nothing.. And don’t even go there with what he did with Chara & Hossa… boy would those 2 still look good in the Sens lineup.

    • Well at least Ottawa didn’t draft Schenn over Karlsson

  4. Uncle Lou will definitely do his best to keep Clarkson, but what kind of team is New Jersey right now? They are about to begin transitioning from Brodeur to (insert name here) and this past season were kind of exposed as one if the weaker teams in the east. Clarkson has better value for the devils in a sign and trade situation with a team that would part with a prospect/player/pick for his services. Personally, I think Clarkson listens to his agent and hits the open market.

    • Wouldn’t call them weak… most their losses were close losses. They’re one good forward from being a playoff force again.

      I don’t know if Wedgewood will replace Brodeur, but we can enjoy one last season with him.

  5. actually Havlat is due $5 mil for next season and $6 mil for the following season, according to capgeek.

  6. Really didn’t agree with Kawakami’s article that the Sharks essentially should keep the team as is and unload Havlat. I agree that management and the media are moving the team focus from being Thornton’s team to being Couture’s team. There are reasons why Joe was traded from Boston and we have seen it in SJ for 7 years. In the most important game of the series – game 7 – I thought Joe was in the press box because he was almost nonexistent on the ice. He was all over the place in game 6, but I didn’t realize he was playing until his name was mentioned in the 2nd period. Joe has become a distributor of the puck – which is fine, but the Sharks need another scorer – maybe someone like Chris Stewart – he’s gritty, has speed and the type of player that will get dirty – fight in the corners and in the crease. I also believe that the Sharks are going to have to trade one of the big three – Thornton, Marleau or Boyle to get a “big name” in return. I like the idea of resigning Gomez, but the player that really impressed me during the playoffs was Galiardi who is an RFA. My biggest change would be McLellan as he’s had 5 years to get it done and just seems to fall short. I figured Larry Robinson was brought in to shore up the coaching in SJ and that there is the potential for him to move into the Head Coach position.

    • Joe is a very skilled player. He no longer puts points up like he did but still contributes. SJ never really had much depth apart from the number one line. With the emergence of Couture they have finally got some good depth going on. Is Joe still worth 7mil? No. He has one more year on his current deal. But I do think going forward we would be an excellent 2nd centre for SJ. Maybe for 4 or 3 mil a year. I think the player to move is Marleau, I think because of his goal scoring he would fetch a better return Joe. SJ does need to make changes and I’m sure they will. Maybe they should start with the GM….

  7. Darcy Regier made some comments about taking on other teams amnesty candidates. The sabres should have cap space. I wonder if they would consider Havlat or if the amnesty player would be part of something bigger like when regehr came to buff with kotalik attached.

    Ie To buffalo havlat and value player/pick/prospect

    To San Jose save $ and 2 lesser value player prospect picks

    • They’d definately have to take on atleast some of Havlat’s salary.

    • Oh hell no – Havlat has done nothing since arriving in San Jose except get injured. Buffalo has Leino who has failed to give us a full season yet – we don’t need another. Now I wouldn’t mind getting Marleau or Pavelski for Vanek. But I still think that San Jose needs to get a gritty forward like Downie, Stewart, or Filppula.

      • I dunno steve if sj is willing to give us a couple top flight prospecrs in return for just taking on most of havlats salary for a rebuilding team thats nothing but great news. we do not need marleau. we are going younger no need for him. plus with hodgson, ennis, grigorenko, girgensons, armia and larsson all about to be nhlers or currently are. we will be deep at center no need to send vanek packing for marleau or pavelski. vanek would be better traded for draft picks and top flight prospects.

  8. San Jose will never win the big one with Dumbo Joe. The Bruins saw it and dumped him. Yes they got hosed on the return, but retooled and won the cup in 2011. Dumbo Joe has no passion/drive. That’s why he folds in playoffs and she games matter most. And now he is getting old. San Jose should get what can for him and move on. Marleau is a keeper and pavelski and cotoure are developing into future leaders. I think they should get rid of their coach too, who looks like he couldn’t lead a thirsty horse to water.