NHL Rumors for October 20, 2011.

The latest on the Flames, Blue Jackets, Flyers and Rangers.


On his way out of Calgary?

CALGARY SUN: Steve MacFarlane reports Flames GM Jay Feaster is merely doing his job by listening to possible trade offers from rival general managers. He also respectfully declines to talk about trade rumors, such as the recent one claiming teams are calling him to inquire about winger Rene Bourque. Feaster’s also said that anyone not name Iginla, Kiprusoff, Giordano and perhaps Glencross is fair game if an opportunity arises to improve the club. Bourque has a modified “no-trade” clause, meaning he either provides a list of teams he’d accepted being dealt to, or a list of those he’s not willing to join without written consent. MacFarlane doubts Feaster would trade Bourque for a draft pick or “a bag of pucks”, and suggested any further changes could depend on if the Flames are still battling for a post-season berth.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A trade scenario we discussed last night on The Face Off Hockey Show was Bourque for Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu, whom TSN’s Darren Dreger also suggested was a player of interest for some teams. Of course, we’re just spitballing and not saying it’s something that’s going to happen. The Flames aren’t going to rush into a deal to move any player, but Feaster isn’t going to just sit and wait for the Flames to play their way out of lengthy slumps as in the past when Darryl Sutter was the GM. I agree with MacFarlane that Feaster won’t just give Bourque away if he were to seriously consider trading him, as he’ll want a top-six forward in return who can help the Flames right away. Bourque’s modified NTC will also limit the market for potential destinations, which is worth bearing in mind.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets president Mike Priest has provided head coach Scott Arniel and GM Scott Howson with votes of confidence. Howson confirmed he’s received trade inquiries from other GMs, but isn’t close to make a trade at this time.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those two have the support of ownership for now, but if they’re still floundering by mid-season, one or both could be gone. One reason Howson probably isn’t close to making a deal is the offers are likely very one-sided, and not in his favor.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports the Flyers callup of Brayden Schenn leaves the team uncomfortably close to the $64.3 million cap ceiling, as they now have only $21K of available cap space. Panaccio believes they’ll have to shed a major salary at some point if they’re to have any cap flexibility by the trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Barring injuries which put players on LTIR or further demotions, the Flyers will indeed have to dump a salary, and that means Scott Hartnell’s name will continue to feature prominently in this year’s rumor mill.

NEW YORK POST: Sean Avery not only doubts he’ll be recalled by the Rangers, but also doubts another NHL team will have interest in him.


  1. I know Hartnell’s name has come up time and time again in the rumour mill, but I’m curious to see how they go about accomplishing what they need to do. He has a 4.2 million contract and a NTC, I’m not quite sure the details of the NTC as in whether or not he has to provide the list of teams where he would accept a trade to or if it’s a firm NTC, it seems nobody can answer that question. Hartnell clearly isn’t worth the 4.2 he’s getting paid but he isn’t useless either. I guess these kids are really showing they can play, (I’m also interested in what happens with Couturier as well) which makes it even harder as a GM to make decisions, especially if he doesn’t wave the NTC. Even shedding Jody Shelley’s salary (1.1 million) wouldn’t really put the Flyers in a “comfortable” salary position so the Flyers may be forced to ultimately shed a salary they don’t really want to in order to work around the cap. Should be interesting as the season progresses.

  2. agreed puckhead… Im sure shedding themselves of Matt Walkers contract somehow would help a lot too. 1.7 mil is paying way too much for a 6-7th defenseman

  3. Why does every article about the Flyers include a mention of how they need cap room by the trade deadline? Who’s to say they need to add some one at the trade deadline? They’re already far over stocked at every position as evidenced by the fact that they are so close to the cap. I’d be perfectly fine with playing out the regular season and playoffs with the team they have on the ice right now. Besides, every team ends up with someone’s season ending early every year. There’s your cap relief. As far as I’m concerned they just need to wait it out. No point in getting rid of some one you don’t want to get rid of.

  4. Capgeek sent out a tweet a day or two ago that Schenn’s cap hit will not be 3.1 mil for the year. I know it’s posted as such, but because he will not play a full season, part of his bonus on his ELC will be unattainable. I think the tweet said his final contract will pay close to 1.5 mil. So the Flyers aren’t as close to the cap as people make it seem.
    Question, isn’t Bourque a top 6 forward? Why trade him for another top 6?

  5. I would not be so sure that the Flyers “don’t want to” shed Hartnell’s salary. Just look at how he has fallen out of favor over the last six months or so. Since the playoff run in 2010 that resulted in an Eastern Conference title and a loss in the Cup Final, Hartnell had been a prominent winger on a top two line in Philly. Then, this fall, Hartnell gets moved to the third line with two rookies and his playing time plummets to lows Hartnell had never really seen in his career. Now, with Schenn being called up, all of the talk has been on an all rookie line of Schenn-Courturier-Read, which would push Hartnell down to the fourth line and reduce his minutes even further. All this sounds like the Flyers really don’t want Hartnell anymore, or that he really doesn’t fit the style of play Laviollette is trying to play with the kids, emphasizing more speed, quickness and skating ability, something Hartnell has never been good at. I think by the holidays Hartnell is no longer in orange and black.

  6. Bourque might be traded for another top six to spark the team, fill a different style of play, or they may want to get his contract off the books faster

  7. Hartnell won’t go anywhere. Besides his NTC and cap hit he is a valuable role player the Flyers need to make a run at the Cup and always has come up big in the playoffs (mainly elimination games). I won’t be surprised to see Shelly and Walker go (combined 2.8 mil cap hit).

  8. Mikebel I think the issue with the flyers is if they sustain injuries, they have no available room to call up replacements. If they have several injuries they may have to play shortmanned. With Read, Timonen, Rinaldo, Briere, Giroux and such, they have enough short men.

  9. Speaking of the Rangers, any word on Staal? Thought they were supposed to update us on that today.

  10. Something I havent heard anything about but I have to wonder isnt being discussed by Flyers management is the possibility of moving Briere. With the emergence of Giroux, and the depth with young centers Coutourier and Schenn (who will be playing out of position), there has to be some thought. That combined with the fact Briere is well known as a clutch playoff player, the idea of moving that salary, not really affecting their depth at center, and knowing that Briere will draw a good return has to have a team like Philly who isnt shy about making moves thinking hard.

  11. DurtMCHurt

    The Flyers cap problem is a lot closer than you think, as of last night with the Schenn call up, they apparently have a little more than 20K….yes, $20,000. I know what your saying regarding Schenn’s cap but that was straighened up at the beginning of the season.

  12. What do you mean straightened up?
    In the final year of the cba, all bonuses count against the cap. Schenn has a MAX cap hit of 3.1. But because he cannot obtain all of his bonuses so he will not be paid the full 3.1, giving the Flyers more space. Right now capgeek has him listed at his max, and by their own admittance is wrong. Am I missing something?