NHL Rumors – March 28, 2012.

Updates on Jarome Iginla,Alexander Radulov, Ryan Smyth,  and Tomas Holmstrom.

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun, responding to a reader’s e-mail “rant” regarding the Calgary Flames, acknowledged the team is overdue for a rebuild. He referenced conversations he’s had this season with Flames GM Jay Feaster, who said changes would be coming if the current group failed to deliver. LeBrun believes the biggest could involve team captain Jarome Iginla, suggesting Feaster have a “heart-to-heart” with Iginla to determine if he want to remain as part of a retooling plan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My take on the situation can be found in one of my recent THN.com columns. 

Could Radulov become trade bait this summer?

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman recently reported there’s been lots of discussion if Alexander Radulov will re-sign with the Nashville Predators following this season or return to the KHL, suggesting another option could be a trade to another NHL city. Radulov’s a restricted free agent, and a trade would give him an opportunity to chose a longer-term NHL destination while allowing the Predators to get assets for him…Contract talks between Ryan Smyth’s agent and the Oilers are ongoing. Both sides denied the Oilers didn’t want to offer up longer than a one-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to be interesting to see what transpires regarding Radulov and the Predators once the playoffs are over. His future could depend on how far the club goes into the post-season. As for Smyth, I’ll be surprised if he’s not re-signed by the Oilers.

DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports the larger question now surrounding long-time Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom is if he’ll return for one  more season. His contract is up this summer, injuries have taken their toll, his production is down, and his family is growing, all factors which could have him considering retirement.

SPECTOR’S  NOTE: It’s been a long, largely productive road for Holmstrom, but it’s obvious this season he’s coming to the end of that road. It would be surprising if he returns for another season.


  1. Detroit
    What a great landing spot for both Parise and Weber if Holmstrom and Lidstrom retire or move on !
    Would they take a little hair cut but a long term deal to play on that team for the next 10 years but be competitive every year and essentailly play for arguably the best run Franchise in all pro sports!
    I would !

    Smyth has benn a perfect addition Iam sure that both sides can come to a term Smyth wants to retire an Oiler ..hes made his money and does not want to move again …he should be good to sign there would be surprised if he doesn’t

    I would shop him at seasons end as long term he may cause more problems for the organization and would be better to get assets for him instead as his value is pretty good right now!

    I see Jarome Iginla staying with the Flames and being a mentor down the road and being part of the organization forever ….they have to trade Kipper to maximize a rebuild around Iginla as he still has a couple more good years ….if Iginla goes anywhere he stays on the West coast as he is an Alberta boy and has never moved why would he want to do that now at the end of his career especillay if he has a say !
    Iginla is not part of the problem there its the supporting cast he still is very valuable to that team !
    They also need a new head coach …time is up ……go back to the 1980s with Sutter tactics and systems!

    FIRE SUTTER ! Trade Kipper for young assets 1 A prospects and look at options to move Boumeester and keep just above the cap floor until you have an opportunity after next year when the UFA pool is very good to draw from !

  2. If Radulov wanted to be moved, I wonder how Washington would appeal to him. If July 1 hits and he’s still unsigned, Poile can give permission to any GM to talk to Radulov’s agent. Maybe playing on a team with Ovy would be inticing enough to stay in the NHL. On a similar topic, I posted late yesterday, musing about Semin signing as a FA with Carolina. My reasons being that it seems highly unlikely the Canes will be able to sign either top FA Suter or Parise, and Semin would be a good runner up. He will probably chase the money wherever it is, and it appears his days with the Caps are numbered. That of coarse is if the rumours are true that Rutherford will be aggressive in trying to attract free agents this summer.

  3. @ Durtmchurt

    Good call on Radulov.
    I dont think Semin is a typical Carolina type player especially for what he will be asking for cash wise …there is a lot more options out there for multiple players to be more helpful to add depth to the lineup.
    I dont see him as a Rutherford type player at all I M O but you never know !!!

  4. Iginla has moved before. He was Drafted by Dallas and played in their farm before he was traded to Calgary for Niewendyk. Flames are due for at least one year of floundering to get a quality draft pick. Then you try to surround him with good players via free agency and a couple trades. Their current Core is getting up there in age, and salary.

    The Radulov situation is a weird one because no one knows what he might do, besides take his puck and go home that is. I think that the Preds trade his rights after he says he wants 6 million. Then someone with deep pockets will trade for him and give him a mega contract that brings the cap hit down.

  5. Nashville
    Doug McLean pointed out last night that Weber and Suter are both plus players and that every other defenseman was a minus player ….they have to keep these guys instead of Radulov ..hes a good asset to deepen the defense core !

    @ Smielman
    Point noted ..he never played for Dallas he was Drafted in 1995 and traded in 1995 played for St Alberts and Kamloops apparently never played for Dallas or moved there !

  6. I’m with Chris (and others) re: Nashville. I think the team will go to 6-7 games in the 2nd round this year or *maybe* third round before being knocked out of the playoffs. They could trade use the money to sign Weber/Suter – they have to sign at least one of the guys! Then, trade Radulov for the kind of guy that would go through a brick wall for you in the playoffs. Radulov for Umberger + a defenceman (Nikitin, if one of Weber/Suter go?), maybe?

    That’s just musing on players, but I think that’s the sort of deal they need.

    Mind you, it wouldn’t surprise me if Radulov went back. While we’d all like to play in the NHL, it makes sense that a young guy would rather make more money to play at home, near family, and where he’s comfortable with both the culture and the language, even if it’s a second-tier league.

  7. It’s a shame. I was really hoping the Flames would be the other team to make the playoffs in the West (after the Kings take the Pacific and the Coyotes finish in 7th or 8th).

    I’m not convinced that the Flames could make another run at it next year. Every year the Rangers get the best free agent on the market and cast off good players to make the cap. The Sharks are dangerously close to missing the playoffs. You have to think that if they miss the playoffs or don’t go far that they’re going to blow that team up. If the Sharks decided to ditch Thornton, he’d look awfully good playing wing with Iginla. It might be worth trying.

  8. If anyone would have suggested to me in December that Leafs and Wild were in worse shape than Ducks I would have considered them nuts, well……… Is Columbus really the worst team in NHL ( I know their record is) or is it really Minnesota or Toronto ? I don’t see any value on Minnesota’s defense, It started with Burns going to San Jose last June and seem to become Wild’s goal to run every D-man out of town.

  9. @Chris you keep saying kipper would bring the best return, but would he?the goalie market isn’t huge. Yes it’s nice to have a guy who is great year in year out, but vokune(?) was available as a ifs and had almost zero interest. He’s been a great goalie on mediocre teams usually. I don’t see kipper bringing in a great return.

  10. @Icebear
    Kipprusoff is arguably the best goalie in the world and has been for the last 5 years or so since Dominic Hasek left ……..and the goalie market is at an ALL TIME HIGH right now he will give you maximum return and his no trade clause expires this season its a no brainer as opposed to having to trade Iginla ….Kipper should be the first piece to move in the rebuild…VOKUN is on the cusp of retirement …hes done!

  11. kipper is old and worn out, goalies don’t seem to be attracting a large return.

    Iggy would be the one brining in some good assets. Iggy has the Flames tatooed on his chest no matter who drafted him. I can’t believe that some fans actually want to keep Iggy (and do trades) for one more opportunity to win the cup. Starting to sound like Leaf fans (“if”)

    Leaf sucks. Trading 2 1st pick for doppy is their downfall. Burk wanted to shorten the rebuilding period, took a risk and lost. What’s next? NOTHING

    Habs sucks. Gainey’s 5 year plan failed. Why do the Habs keep losing in overtime (1 point) or winning (2 points) . Stay down for the count and get a great pick.

  12. The worst team in the NHL? Great debate. If I look at rosters, prospects, contracts, old vets who are on the downside of their careers, here is my ranking of top-10 worst.

    #1 and the worst team: Calgary Flames. No prospects, No depth. No replacement plan for Iginla or Kippur.
    #2: Montreal Canadiens: Terrible contracts on old vets, bare cupboards. Only Carey Price keeps them out of top-spot.
    #3: Minnesota Wild: Bare cupboards, but at least not as many terrible contracts.
    #4: Columbus Blue Jackets: Not in last place because they still have Nash and a potential superstar in Johanson. Wouldn’t be as bad if they didnt get fleeced by Philly.
    #5: Winnipeg Jets: Decent season, but a team not loaded with talent or a deep prospect pool. Pavelec is enough to keep them respectable in the “division of weakest goaltending in the NHL”.
    #6: Toronto Maple Leafs: WTF hapened here? Solid group of prospects, but lack of a superstar player and leadership are major flaws.
    #7: Edmonton Oilers: Amzing young scorers, but zero defense and goaltending moving forward. Need to start to win, eventually…
    #8: Anaheim Ducks: Depth issues galore. Respectable this season only because of Teemu and Hiller.
    #9: Phoenix Coyotes: Who plays for this team? This goes to show you that coaching can win games.
    #10: NYI: Lack of goaltender puts them behind Carolina.

  13. It takes a Habs fan to start a BS stupid conversation ……the Goalie market is at an all time high right now what are you saying ???? SERIOUSLY you believe what you just said ???

    ARE YOU GUYS OK ???????….Seriuosly …Ive really tried to tone down to make friends here and look at all sides ….but there sre some things that are….. black …& … White ….Mika Kipprusoff is possibly a Hart Trophy nominee this year …has played between 75 & 80 games every year for the last 7 years and won the Vezina and has been to the cup …wow!…..hes 4th in the league for wins this year ….. yeah ok hes all dried up !!!

  14. NikK – I love it. Always a fan of a good list… and good debate fodder!

    My 2 cents: I’d say CBJ is lower due to horrid goaltending and the fact that Nash has huge trade value, but not great value for the team. Who would you rather have going forward, Nash or Pacioretty? Like everyone, I’d say Nash… but not by as much as you might think. Pacioretty is 4 years younger, and has more goals, assists and points than Nash this season. Going forward, I’m not sure Nash will get his mojo back – at least not with the Jackets.

    As for Toronto, I’m not sold on their prospects – all of whom (like my Habs) are WAY blown out of proportion, so they look solid, but actually are middling. E.g. Luke Schenn I think will be a solid 3-4 d-man in the NHL, but when he came up, he was hyped as the next coming of Pronger. Kadri the same. And Gustavsson. We’ll see about Colborne, who does have huge potential. Also, having a captain (Phaneuf) who supposedly doesn’t listen to coaches (rumoured to be a major reason he was traded from CGY) and who clearly doesn’t seem to give a sh!t some nights isn’t helping them much.

    And I still can’t figure out the Ducks – with Teemu their best forward, shouldn’t they have two amazing lines? And with d-men of Fowler and Visnovsky and Hiller in net, it makes no sense this team is *that* bad. They could move up that list quickly, if their players actually started giving a damn.

  15. @ beergoggles

    Has Gustavson seen his last ( NHL ) game as per that performance last night ???

  16. To: Northby9

    Resent the comment that Ducks don’t care, hey it’s spring here and weather is great to play golf right now and soon to go to the beach, and for the single Ducks plenty of hot chicks galore, lots for them to do than chase for some ole silver cup

  17. @chris the goalie market is good, not at an all time high. The thing is the teams looking for a tender badly don’t want a guy who’s on the downside of his career, they want a good young goalie who they can ride for awhile. They want the Corey schnieders and Berniers.

  18. @allforducks lol good point. I have to think if I was a young, athletic millionaire living on the California coast, I might have different priorities than a hundred year-old piece of metal, too…

  19. Kippur is one of the best goalies in the league and is by no means washed up.
    Still a top-5 in the league, IMO.

    I’d take Kippur over Schneider/Berier any day of the week, and twice on Hockey Night in Canada.

  20. Lyle, any rumours regarding where the various high-end college free agents are going now that their season is over?

  21. surreal: I don’t cover those, I stick primarily to NHL player rumors.

  22. Lyle

    If Justin Schultz has decided to wait until July 1 and become a free agent rather than sign with Anaheim not so mighty ducks, is Murray trying to trade his rights ? Didn’t Calgary trade Tim Exiron to Rangers foe 2- #2
    picks when they couldn’t sign him ?

  23. Chris

    Last time I checked, 71, 73 and 74 are not between 75 and 80. Your idea that it should be crystal clear to all that Kiprusoff is “arguably the best goalie in the world” is far from reality. It seems you’re the only person making that argument! Over the past 7 years Kiprusoff has an average GAA of 2.52 and a save percentage just under .910 – hardly up there with the best in the league. I’m not suggesting that he isn’t a good goaltender…just that he’s not among the league’s very best on an annual basis anymore. His Vezina came 6 years ago.

  24. Why would the flames trade Kipper before Iggy? In a rebuild isn’t it harder to find a good goalie then a tough skilled forward? Just ask my Oilers. To me you rebuild around Baertschi and Kipper, despite his age.

  25. @ nikk I’m not saying kipper isn’t a great tender, I’m just saying that I would give up lots for kipper if i can get bernier or schnieder for half the priice. Plus kipper is on the downside of his career, those guys should be getting ready to steal the show, and run with it for many years to come.

  26. @ Kevin and brunswicker

    Spot on

  27. You guys should not argue just for the sake of arguing…….becuase its not very becoming to look like a fool …..!!!

    Iam not a GM obviuosly but I quarentee and say 99% of people who really know the game of hockey and are true hockey people can easily say Kiprusoff has been one of the best Goalies in the league and the world for the last 7 years give or take Tim Thomas… Lundqvist, Hasek and Fleury on an off year in STATS but as a pure goalie to play that many games every year and do what he has done is AMAZING and as elite as elite can get !!!

    @Brunswicker good for you to ceheck up stats yopu must be an accoutant …..sorry I was off by a 2 or 3 games on avareage per season give me a break …good argument you got there…. why bother ???

    You guys need to get a grip on the reality of the business side of hockey ….and what makes every team manager know what they know ….there are very few proven players that play more than 2 seasons in the NHL and even less that actually make a mark when they get there these elite players which are less than 50 in the world are so coveted and respected by hockey people you can not even imagine how bad a team owner wants a player of that caliber ……here is a stat for Brunswicker since hes so concerned on being Mr perfect…..

    Take the 10s of millions of kids who play hockey in the world and boil that down to the 700 plus that make it to the NHL and boil that down to an average life span of 2-3 years for 50% of the league that play more than 2- 3 years…. than boil that down to less than 50 who are Superstar status ….imagine being a goalie and only having two positions on each team…… and only 30 starting goalies and then only 10 of them who play for a team more than 5 years …….since you want to be exact and be the BIG SHTICK ….Id say that Kipper is a pretty elite all world goalie that Plays 70 PLUS games a year every year !!!!!

    His No trade expires after thsi season and opens him up to a trade I would trade him as he will give more of a return as ther are only 10 elite goalies in the league as opposed to 670 players that can play any position on the Ice ……you start with moving out Kipper and get a ransom back and keep Jarome in that uniform until he retires and make him one of the best Captains to ever play with one team his whole career !!!

  28. @Chris i agree with you and and real hockey mind would as well. Kipper has more wins than any other goalie since the lockout and thats playing on a below than average team. Kipper could bring in a hefty return for the Flames. I’ve heard recently that Calgary may try a “Bouemester type deal” with New Jersey. Kipper would be traded to the devils for the rights to Parise and one or two other other pieces prior to the draft if New Jersey can not resign him. Interesting considering Brodeur is pretty much down after this season. Even if he did come back Kipper #1 and Marty#2 not a bad combo

  29. What teams would take Iginla at 7 Million though? Probably not contenders since most of them have tight cap issues, and would Jarome really want to go through all the hassle of up-rooting and restarting elsewhere if it didn’t mean a shot at a cup?

    I think he would draw tons of interest from alot of top teams in 2013 as a free agent if he would go for a lower salary though.

  30. I wonder what would happen if Radulov simply played out the regular season with the Preds and then went back to Russia to play in the World Championships? Would he still have played his way out of his Entry Level Contract and be able to become a RFA this summer? I wouldn’t put it past the guy to do this.

    But as to what Poile will do this summer, I believe the main reason he allowed Rads to enact this charade was as a last ditch attempt to convince Suter to re-sign with the team. Poile never brought in the top tier forward that both Suter and Weber were looking for the team to acquire and Rads was all that was left to bring in. To me at least, it looks like a desperation move and I’d have to think Suter and Weber view it that way as well.

  31. @ Chris

    He might be traded but it won’t be a huge return. Yes he’s a world class goal tender. But he’s 35 going on 36 how many good years can you get out of him? and will it be enough to give up much in the way of good assets? Not likely.

    A team like the capitals if they miss the playoffs might give up a lot for a real leader and still decent player in Iginla however. I could see it rejuvinating him and the caps and them going on a tear.

  32. @Icebear

    Goalies continue to play pretty old, you get 4-5 more years out of Kipper, I mean, if you’re team’s close he’ll push you over.